Description of the picture:
The death of Marat – Jacques Louis David. 1793. Oil on canvas. 165×215; 128 cm
The Death of Marat, without any hesitation, is the most popular painting by Jacques Louis David. This is not only a tribute to the fierce Jacobin Jean-Paul Marat, whom the painter highly valued, and admiration for the very thought of the revolution, for which many sacrificed their lives.
David sought to maintain the authenticity of what was happening. Marat was killed right in the bathroom, from which he practically did not crawl out due to the severe form of skin disease. A box of wood replaced the table for the revolutionary, and the sheets that wrap the Jacobin were really in patches. But the hero himself is depicted with a lesser degree of certainty – David turned him into a kind of athlete, the hero of Antiquity, and this asceticism in the setting gives the whole plot a special gloomy solemnity.
In the hands of the murdered Marat is a note that could not be read by the hero. She belongs to Charlotte Korda and has the appearance of a kind of statement, which says that she (Korda) is deeply unhappy and has the right to defend Marat. Jean-Paul Marat could not read this message – Charlotte Corde stabbed him with a knife earlier. Although many researchers claim that the episode with the note was completely invented by the artist to further emphasize the drama.
David was very sad about the death of the “Friend of the people”, and he returned to this event more than once. He owns a portrait of Marat, copied from a posthumous mask, and the painting “The Death of Marat” itself has several author’s repetitions."