Death of Marat by Jacques-LouisDavid in 1793, is a portrait of the French Revolutionary leader Jean-PaulMarat. The painting is a picture of adead man, with a bloody gash under the right clavicle. In the gentlemen’s right had is a felt pin asit dangles out of the tube. In the lefthand, the gentleman is holding a piece of bloody paper that has the date of hismurder, and the name of the person who murdered him, Marieann CharlotteCorday. There is a wooden table to the right of the tub the holdsthe ink used to write with the felt pen. The style of the painting is neo-classicism.
Neo-classicism was the rediscovery of theclassical art form in the Greek and Roman times. Jean-Paul David idealizes by depicting him asa hero in the painting. His intentionwas to reveal Marat as having high moral values.
The painting is the classical principle ofthe golden section. The horizontal linesare through the edges of the tub, the top of the side table, and the ledgewhere Marat’s head was lying. Vertical lines are through the side table andthe folds of the white cloth. Horizontallines are shown through the line that passes through Marat’s nose, downthrough his right arm and continuing in the folds of the cloth underneath hiselbow.
Marat had a skin condition thatcaused him to spend most of his time in the tub. The scene is in a bare bathroom with nothingpresent in the room but the tub, a cloth, and a box. The linear perspective is depicted by the tubthat holds Marat’s body. As mentionedbefore, Marat suffered from a skin condition, which is not depicted in thepainting.
He is pained in a classicalposition. The dead body is depicted asmonumental composition. The table in thepainting resembles a monument with David’s signature and Marat’s name on top asa dedication. Shadow Birk’s paint of Death ofManuel, a Neo-classical and Romantic history painting was based onJacques-Louis David’s Death of Marat.
Birk is paying homage to the previous artist while depicting the imagein a contemporary lifestyle of the city. The position of Manuel is positioned exactly how Marat’s body waspositioned. The difference in thepainting is that Manuel is in a Candy apple red Chevy Impala. The car is riddled with bullets holes.
Instead of a white cloth, Manuel is wearing ablack and white bandana. Manual iswearing a t-shirt, with a gunshot wound instead of a stab wound as painted inthe Death of Marat. Manuel’s left handis grasping on to the steering wheel of the Impala. Birk uses the real effects of everyday lifein the ghetto.