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

The Death of Marat (detail)

Oil on canvas
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

In his left hand Marat holds Charlotte Corday's deceitful note that reads (in David's own handwriting): 'July 13 1793: Marie-Anne-Charlotte Corday to citizen Marat/ It is enough for me to be truly wretched to have a right to your kindness'. Corday's actual note to Marat had ended: I am being persecuted for the sake of Liberty; I am unhappy, that is sufficient to give me the right to your protection', and the change in wording suggests that she accomplished her murderous deed by appealing to Marat's kind-hearted sympathy.

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