Examples of classical painting.
The great creator of this era was the French painter JACQUES LOUIS DAVID (1748—1825). He lived through two great chapters in French history - the great revolution, whom he served, and the era of Napoleon I, who appointed him the first painter.
Four years before the revolution broke out, w r. 1785, David paints his famous painting The Oath of the Horatii, in which, admittedly, he elevates the virtues of Roman citizens and patriots, but in fact he wants to pay homage to the broadly understood and in his times already current republican virtues: bravery, courage, fidelity and faithfulness.
Today, this excellent work impresses us with a great photogram from a theatrical performance on ancient themes: decoration in the form of three arcades in the background; in the foreground, almost tangible in its three-dimensional shape, as if thrown strong, the figures of four men in the center of the stage, with hands raised dramatically to swords; moreover, on the right side there are figures of "weak" women and children.
The composition of the picture is uniform, compact, clear, and a clear contrast to vertical systems (columns, men characters) and horizontal (hand lines), despite the drama and pathos contained in the content, keeps the work in full static.
With similar painting means - a linear contour, chiaroscuro, modest color - used by David in the painting of. 1793, completely up-to-date historically: Marat's death, depicting the fiery republican and friend of the sans-culottes moments after being stabbed while bathing by the fanatical Girondist Charlotte Corday. This is no longer a pathetic "theatrical performance", but an image showing the tragedy of death in its fullness, poignant and human truth. Marat's head fell to his shoulder, hand, which the editor of Przyjaciel Ludu had just written a letter. hangs limply, though the fingers had not yet released the grip on the pen. Horror lurks in the vast plane of darkness in the background of the painting.
In period, in which David, in the service of the republic and revolution, created his most perfect works, painters in Poland, working in the service of Stanisław August. These are mainly Bacciarelli and Canaletto, artists, from which, due to the specific Polish historical reality, David's revolutionary thought was distant. Their painting though, combining the features of the nascent classicism and the receding baroque, clear and transparent in form, betraying an interest in the phenomena of modern life, expresses well the ideas of the Polish Enlightenment.