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

Portrait of Doctor Alphonse Leroy

Oil on canvas, 72 x 91 cm
Musée Fabre, Montpellier

David showed two portraits at the Salon of 1783, one of his uncle Desmaisons, and the other of Doctor Alphonse Leroy. Leroy was an obstetrician, and probably attended Madame David at the birth of her first child. David shows him as an intelligent and refined man, dressed in fine clothes, writing at his desk leaning on a volume of Hippocrates' Morbi mulierum (The Diseases of Women), lit by a quinquet lamp - a recent invention that gave illumination equal in strength to a dozen candles. The only less than successful part of the picture is the angle of the sitter's left arm that denies him a hand.

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