Portrait of Madame Recamier, Jacques-Louis David – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Portrait of Madame Recamier – Jacques Louis David. 1800. Oil on canvas, 174×215; two hundred 40 four cm

   Portrait of Madame Recamier is proclaimed an exceptional case, almost the only example of the Empire style in easel painting.

   Madame Julie Recamier was the mistress of the 1st of the most brilliant Parisian salons. She wished to order a portrait from David. The painter animated set to work, but the conditions in which he had to paint from nature did not suit the master all the time – the light didn’t fall that way, the room itself was very dark. In view of these discontent, the work progressed so slowly that the energetic Julie asked her to finish her portrait of another artist, which offended David very much.

   The painter did not give another artist to invade his creative place, but in revenge, left the portrait unfinished. In general, this did not really affect the quality of this wonderful work, and David himself regretted it very much.

   The heroine is depicted on a canapa, more like some Greek bed. In general, this portrait can be called a catchy model of imitation of antiquity – the heroine’s pose, barefoot legs, a spacious dress with the highest waist, all this recalls Greek heroines.

   According to the artist’s plan, the background of the portrait was to be decorated with various fashionable interior elements, but only the candlestick managed to find its embodiment."