Jacques-Louis David's brilliant painting of the young lovers Telemachus and Eucharis was created during the artist's last years, when the defeat of Napoleon and the return of the monarchy in France forced him into exile in Brussels. Several of David's paintings from this period show his preoccupation with the psychology of love, but none depicts the emotions of parting more tenderly than this painting from 1818.
Dorothy Johnson discusses how David's political involvement affected his personal life and career, taking him from history painter to revolutionary living in exile. The effects of these experiences came together at the end of his life in the creation of some of his richest and most complex works.
The author shows how David's relationship with his family and friends may have dictated his choice of themes. In addition, she details his influence on the modern French school of painting and provides an analysis of this work's innovative iconography.
Dorothy Johnson is director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa and author of the study Jacques-Louis David: Art in Metamorphosis (Princeton, 1993).
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Series: Getty Museum Studies on Art