Museum Home Past Exhibitions Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile

February 1–April 24, 2005 at the Getty Center

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Prison Napoleon Portraits Exile Timeline
The Sisters Bonaparte / David



David excelled at capturing the personality and state of mind of his sitters. His subjects look directly at us, inviting us into their psychological world.

The artist preferred a frontal pose and a spare backdrop to the fancy gestures, settings, and props used by some of his contemporaries.


Explore the details of this painting.

Jealous of his artistic freedom, David had little interest in selling his talent to the new rich who clamored for portraits in the years following the Revolution. David described painting portraits as relaxation, and many of his portraits were private gestures of friendship, admiration, or love.

How much did David charge for his paintings?

Penrose / David
Saint-Fargeau / David
Comtesse Daru / David
Comte de Nantes / David
Madame David / David