Madame Recamier – Oil on canvas
244 x 75 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The French artist Jacques Louis David (1748-1825) was the leader of the neoclassic movement. He was also a fervent supporter of both the French Revolution and later of Napoleon Bonabarte. He spent his later years in exile in Belgium. His style set the artistic standards for many of his contemporaries and determined the direction of numerous 19th-century painters.
One of the work’s innovative aspects is its horizontal format, unusual for a portrait, and habitually reserved for history paintings. The bare space around the figure emphasizes the elegant arabesque of Madame Récamier’s reclined body. Her antique pose, the bare décor and light dress all epitomize neoclassical ideals. The clear harmony of the ensemble, due to Juliette Récamier’s white dress, is brightened up by the warm hues of the furniture. Only the model’s head is nearly finished, and David has not yet added highlights to the impasto of her dress. The accessories, walls and floor are merely sketched in with vibrant brushstrokes, with the white undercoat still showing through in places. The canvas’ unfinished state gives the picture a mysterious, poetic appearance doubtless very different to the finished portrait David had in mind. (source – www.louvre.fr )
Here is the full paining and a close up, Enjoy