The Oath of Horace, Jacques-Louis David, 1784

Description of the picture:

The Oath of Horace – Jacques-Louis David. 1784. Oil on canvas. 330×425

   The basis of this famous composition of the French classicist Jacques Louis David (1748-1825) is the story of how three brothers from the Roman family of Horace swear defeat or die in the fight against the 3 best warriors of the town of Alba Longa, the enemy of Rome.

   The brothers swear, the father, blessing them on the feat of arms, hands them blades. The art of classicism put civil duty above personal happiness, because the wailing of women can not shake the determination of Horatiev.

   CITIES AND CURIATIONS. Two warring patrician clans, the Romans Horatsiev and Kuriatsiev from the Italian town of Alba Long, had three offspring, equal to each other in age and strength. Their rulers, wanting to put an end to the war between 2 towns, suggested that the brothers, as representatives of these cities, enter into a duel together and take the oath that the defeated side would peacefully submit to the victor. In this fight, the first success went to the Supervision, which, although they were wounded, destroyed two Horatiev brothers. The surviving Roman outwitted his own enemies and defeated them. Having fled, he carried with him in pursuit of opponents, each of whom fought in turn, because they fled at different speeds."