The Combat of Mars and Minerva (1771) by Jacques-Louis David

The Combat of Mars and Minerva - Jacques-Louis David - 1771

All Artwork Images

Artwork Information

TitleThe Combat of Mars and Minerva
ArtistJacques-Louis David
Dimensions146 x 181 cm
Art MovementNeoclassicism
Current LocationLouvre, Paris, France

About The Combat of Mars and Minerva

The artwork “The Combat of Mars and Minerva” was created by artist Jacques-Louis David in 1771. This oil on canvas measures 146 by 181 centimeters and is a mythological painting representative of the Neoclassicism movement. Currently, the piece is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.

The artwork vividly portrays a dynamic scene from ancient mythology, where the Roman gods of war and wisdom, Mars and Minerva, engage in combat. The central figures are Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, who stands resolutely with her left arm outstretched towards Mars, the god of war, who is recoiling from her commanding gesture. Minerva is clad in classical attire, her garments flowing, embossed with decorative motifs, and is donned with a helmet adorned with a figure of a sphinx, underlining her wisdom and military prowess. Mars, depicted in a more vulnerable pose, is draped in a pinkish cloth and his armor lies scattered on the ground, signifying the futility of his might against Minerva’s superiority.

The background of the artwork is shrouded in shadowy clouds, save for the break in which celestial beings appear; they are witnesses to the confrontation and seem to be involved in a separate, yet related, aerial struggle. On the ground, fallen warriors can be seen, underscoring the chaos and inevitable casualties of war. The pale, unmoving bodies contrast with the warm, vibrant tones used to paint the living figures, serving as a poignant reminder of the cost of martial conflict. The artwork encapsulates the Neoclassical ideals through its focus on classical subject matter, emphasis on line and form, and a dramatic, yet harmonious composition that evokes the grandeur and moral messages revered in antiquity.

Other Artwork from Jacques-Louis David

More Neoclassicism Artwork

Scroll to Top