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

Portrait of Jeanbon Saint-André

Pen, black ink, wash and white highlights, diameter 182 mm
Art Institute, Chicago

When in prison, David drew an oval portrait of a fellow detainee, the former Protestant minister, Jeanbon Saint-André. Politically Saint-André had much in common with David. David's portrait shows him as upright and determined, with no hint of a man subdued by imprisonment. David, however, revealed his personal sense of injustice in an inscription in Latin at the bottom of the drawing: 'A gift of friendship. Solace of affection. David made in chains Year III of the French Republic (1795) Messidor 20.'

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