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Unformatted text preview: n painting, Napoleon visits the sick, showing his care and compassion for his men, even touching one of their sores Total piece of propaganda: sanitized and romanticized version of the events Contemporary event depicted: moving away from staunch Neoclassicism Gros: The Beginnings of Romanticism
Gros: The Beginnings of Romanticism A makeshift hospital for sick French soldiers was established in the town of Jaffa (today: Tel Aviv) during retreat in a mosque (whose courtyard and minaret we can see in the background) and the walls of Jaffa are in the background with French flag dominating
Medical reason (flea bites) of plague unknown at the time, death sometimes within 48 hours
French soldiers not depicted as heroes, but as victims; attended by Arabic doctors who lance their bubos Exotic, contemporary setting: Islamic architecture with men in turbans and Eastern figures Gros: The Beginnings of Romanticism
Gros: The Beginnings of Romanticism Uses elements of the composition of Oath of the Horatii with three arches
Strong dramatic contrasts of dark and light, shows Caravaggio’s influence, borrowing from baroque in romanticism
To the left, a man richlydressed in the oriental manner hands out bread, aided by a servant carrying a breadbasket Behind them, two black men carry a stretcher, on which is a form, probably a cadaver. The twocolored arcade opens out on a gallery full of the sick
To the right, under two arcades, under a broken arch, is Napoleon, accompanied by his officers, touching the armpit bubo presented to him by one of the sick. In front of him, an Arab doctor is caring for another sick man, while a blind man struggles to approach the general
The bottom of the painting is occupied by prostrate and extended men that are dead or dying The light of the painting and the play of colors all paint Bonaparte’s gesture in the best possible light Gros: The Beginnings of Romanticism
Gros: The Beginnings of Romanticism Detail: Dying soldier
Shift towards Romantic aesthetic
No longer flawless, but livid, disfigured, suffering bodies with bubonic sores, wasting away
The bodies are sick, languishing, and the hero is less heroic for being surrounded by ordinary people Gros:
The Beginnings of Romanticism Livid skin color
Why would Napoleon want to have such a subject painted?
Why is it a work of propaganda art? G...
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This note was uploaded on 12/11/2013 for the course ARTH 1441 taught by Professor Spieth during the Fall '12 term at LSU.
- Fall '12