The essay "Jacques Louis David’s and Edouard Manet’s paintings" gives a review of Edouard Manet’s "The Dead Christ with Angels" and Jacques Louis David’s "The Death of Socrates". The publisher and printmaker John Boydell wrote Sir Joshua Reynolds about the painting; "the greatest effort of art since the Sistine Chapel and the stanze of Raphael. This work would have done honor to Athens at the time of Pericles." The subject of the painting loosely bases on Plato’s Phaedo. In painting it though, David consulted various sources. These include the 1758 monograph by Diderot on dramatic poetry and the poetry works of Andre Chenier. A pose by a figure at the bed’s foot on the painting is believed to have been inspired by passages in a book by English writer Richardson. The painting is well composed with various forms contributing to the unity therein. A visual foundation is provided by the dominating darkness, giving contrast to lighter figures. The few rich and light colors spread out with ease against the dark. A shallow stage provides the background, with activity being confined in a narrow space that is contained and unified by the wall at the back creating severely bounding space. The chromatic color used is predominantly warm, with cool colors being subdued, appearing almost grey. A horizontal rectangle bounds all the action, with figures fitting within the contained space. Continuities and lighting along the figure to the left up to Socrates’ arm create a flat, wide pyramid that presents a unified mass.
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The focus of this essay is on two famous painting, Jacques Louis David’s "The Death of Socrates" and Edouard Manet’s "The Dead Christ with Angels". In Louis David’s painting, he shows Socrates prepared to die and calmly talking to his grief-stricken disciples…
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