David's close association with the Committee of Public Safety during the Terror resulted in his signing of the death warrant for Alexandre de Beauharnais, a minor noble. Beauharnais's widow, Joséphine, went on to marry Napoleon Bonaparte and became his empress; David himself depicted their coronation in the Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine, 2 December 1804.
Historical painter encouraged by the governement, 1814 caricature, bodleian library.
David had been an admirer of Napoleon from their first meeting, struck by Bonaparte's classical features. Requesting a sitting from the busy and impatient general, David was able to sketch Napoleon in 1797.
David recorded the face of the conqueror of Italy, but the full composition of Napoleon holding the peace treaty with Austria remains unfinished. Bonaparte had high esteem for David, and asked him to accompany him to Egypt in 1798, but David refused, claiming he was too old for adventuring. Material: Stretched Canvas Size: 18x24 Framed
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