Madame Recamier (1800) by Jacques-Louis David

Madame Recamier - Jacques-Louis David - 1800

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Artwork Information

TitleMadame Recamier
ArtistJacques-Louis David
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions174 x 244 cm
Art MovementNeoclassicism
Current LocationLouvre, Paris, France

About Madame Recamier

The painting titled “Madame Recamier” is an oil on canvas work completed in the year 1800 by the French artist Jacques-Louis David. It stands as a significant representation of the Neoclassical art movement, presenting an ethos of classicism and formal discipline resonant in that era. The artwork measures 174 by 244 centimeters and is classified as a portrait genre. Currently, it is housed in the prestigious Louvre Museum located in Paris, France.

Depicted in the artwork is Madame Récamier, elegantly reclining on a neoclassical-style sofa, her gaze fixed towards the viewer. She is adorned in a flowing white empire-line dress, which was fashionable during the time the portrait was painted. The fabric of the dress is rendered with careful attention to its delicate drapery and soft texture, reflecting the light in a manner that accentuates the form and poise of her figure. Madame Récamier’s pose is relaxed yet composed, emblematic of the serene and idealized representations typical of Neoclassical portraiture.

The space around the sitter is sparse, contributing to the dignified and timeless quality of the composition. A candelabra stands to the left of Madame Récamier, adding a vertical counterbalance to the horizontal figure but not detracting from the focus on her. The background is subdued, employing a dark color palette that contrasts with the brightness of her attire and the paleness of her skin. The overall effect is one of refined elegance and restrained emotion, capturing the subject’s gracefulness as well as the aesthetic principles central to Neoclassicism. This intentional simplicity serves to elevate the portrayals of virtue and nobility, which were highly valorized during this period in art history.

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