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

Portrait of Emilie Sériziat and her Son

Oil on canvas, 131 x 96 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

When David was released from the Luxembourg prison at the end of December 1794, he became ill and so requested permission from the Convention to visit his wife's sister and her husband, Emilie and Pierre Sériziat, at their country house in Saint Ouen, near Tournan-en-Brie, about 32 km (20 miles) east of Paris. This visit was cut short by the accusations of May 1795 and arrest, but he returned there, accompanied by a guard, to recuperate after his second and final release in August. He then painted the portraits of his hosts. Madame Sériziat is shown in an interior setting with her young son, having just returned from a walk. Her cheeks are ruddy and she carries a recently picked bunch of wild flowers which are painted in a lively but meticulous manner.

These two portraits were testaments of friendship and, by showing them at the 1795 Salon, he could prove that he was still able to paint after his ordeals.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.