Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jacques-Louis David's Double Portrait

David's Portrait of Pope Pius Vll and Cardinal Caprara composed of a seated pope and standing cardinal is a simple painting of two figures wearing white vestments on a dark brown background. What first captures your attention is it's a double portrait in profile. The pope points with his hand as the cardinal tilts his head forward and they both stare at a scene hidden from view by the artist. David's 
par excellence as a painter is displayed by studying the surface of the panel. Despite few visual elements this painting visually radiates a magnetic pull that engages the viewer.

The painting can be found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the second floor in the less visited Gallery of European Art, 1500-1850.

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