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

Antiochus and Stratonica

Oil on canvas, 120 x 155 cm
École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris

David, ambitious and excitable, competed in 1771 for the Prix de Rome, which went to Suvée. In 1772 David lost out to Jombert and Le Monnier, and he nearly killed himself in despair. In 1773, his Seneca was passed over in favour of Peyron's more Poussin-like version. David finally won the prize in 1774 with Antiochus and Stratonica, though the palette is too red and shot which shafts of light in a setting that lacks rigor. His work was maturing from year to year, but David's evolution was one of the most laborious ever known.

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