DAVID, Jacques-Louis
(b. 1748, Paris, d. 1825, Bruxelles)

The Oath of the Horatii (detail)

Oil on canvas
Musée du Louvre, Paris

The swords glitter in the centre of the painting, and the outstretched arms raised in oath point to the weapons, indicating the coming deed. The finely judged angles of the arms form a melodious tripartite harmony, while the variously shaped swords express another aspect: this is not ordered preparation, it was a spontaneous action by ardent individuals.