Tour Locations | The Chairfather: Père Lachaise Part III
LOCATION 2 | The Chairfather: Père Lachaise Part III
Look for a white tomb, the fifth on your right after the crossroads.
[4 SECOND PAUSE]
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Either way, Jacques-Louis David's gettin' paid.
He attended art school at the Louvre before it became a museum. His early works were masterful, but derivative run-of-the-mill scenes everybody else chose from scripture and mythology. David altered his style, with the 'NéoClassical' movement, and modified his subject-matter. The Revolution transformed him into a political figure, producing propaganda paintings for the cause.
Backed by Robespierre and the new order, he painted works such as 'The Assassination of Marat,' the most famous of a series of canvasses to martyrs of the Revolution.
Despite republican leanings, David was also drawn to a young general, depicting 'Bonaparte Crossing the Alps' astride a powerful white steed lifting its front hooves, with the wind whipping up the horse's mane, tail and the rider's flowing robes. Dramatic!
He bet on the right horse again, as Napoleon became Emperor, and David was named the state painter. The new leader was too impatient to pose, so David had to work from memory on such works as 'The Crowning of Napoleon.'
When Bonaparte fell for good in 1815, David exiled himself to Brussels, where he remained until his death a decade later. The new régime refused to let him be buried in France.
So, what is under the tomb, you ask? When his wife died, she was buried here, and only a small part of David was allowed back: his heart.
Now, turn left, descend only the first set of stairs.
Immediately turn to your left and keep going.