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Advance timed admission reservations required. Clark members welcome without advance reservations. Face masks required for all visitors. See clarkart.edu/health for details.
Jacques-Louis David Explore


JUNE 6–SEPTEMBER 5, 2005


consulate & empire


The portraits David painted during Napoleon's service as Consul and later during the Empire were extremely expensive, and only the wealthiest members of French society could afford to commission likenesses from him. David had little interest in painting the nouveaux riches who had made their fortunes during the Revolution. Instead, he chose the richest patrons and members of his immediate circle of family and friends to sit for him. Like his earlier portraits, these works usually depict the sitters placed simply against a neutral background, allowing the facial features and the clothing, rather than narrative details, to convey an impression of the individual's character and personality.