Monsieur Lavoisier and his Wife (1788) by Jacques-Louis David

Monsieur Lavoisier and his Wife - Jacques-Louis David - 1788

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Artwork Information

TitleMonsieur Lavoisier and his Wife
ArtistJacques-Louis David
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions259.7 x 194.6 cm
Art MovementNeoclassicism
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY, US

About Monsieur Lavoisier and his Wife

The artwork titled “Monsieur Lavoisier and his Wife” was painted by the renowned Jacques-Louis David in 1788. This oil on canvas epitomizes the Neoclassical art movement of its time. The piece is a portrait with dimensions of 259.7 by 194.6 centimeters. Presently, the artwork is housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, in the United States.

Delving into the details of the artwork, it captures a scene of poise and intellectual pursuit, characteristic of Neoclassical portraiture. Monsieur Lavoisier is depicted seated at a table, his gaze directed thoughtfully outwards, while his wife stands beside him. Her expression is confident and her posture is one of supportive partnership. The couple is surrounded by instruments of scientific inquiry – an allusion to Monsieur Lavoisier’s renowned contributions as a chemist.

The clarity of line and form, subdued palette, and idealization of the subjects are indicative of David’s adherence to Neoclassical principles that sought to reflect the virtues of the art of antiquity. The careful arrangement of the figures and items creates a balanced composition. Madame Lavoisier, draped in flowing fabrics, adds an air of elegance and grace to the scene, contrasting with the solidity and focus of Monsieur Lavoisier. The atmospheric perspective lent by the marble background gives a sense of depth and reinforces the dignified atmosphere of the portrait.

Overall, Jacques-Louis David’s portrayal of Monsieur Lavoisier and his wife stands as a testament to the values of reason, science, and enlightenment that were paramount during the artist’s time.

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