Description of the picture:
Andromache, Mourning for Hector – Jacques Louis David. 1783. Oil on canvas. 58×43
The new hero, whose image the art of the 18th century tried to create, was fully embodied in the work of David. This is the protagonist of the ancient era, freed from the bustle and prose of life, presented in the halo of legend and worthy of imitation. The painter sensitively caught the trends of his time; he saw in art a powerful means of educating society in the spirit of the ideals of the Enlightenment. Such was the idea of the large film “Andromache Mourning Hector” on the plot of Homer’s Iliad, executed shortly before the revolution, for which David was admitted to the Academy.
The artist depicts Andromache, mourning her husband, killed by Achilles in a duel near the walls of Troy. Here, the beauty of the feat of self-sacrifice is glorified. The fate of the hero, who put his life on the altar of the fatherland, is worthy of imitation. The composition of the canvas is similar to the antique bas-relief due to the rigor of a clear picture, even lighting, expressive plastic figures. Body Hector as if raised on a bed for farewell, Andromache’s gaze and gesture turned to the viewer. She points to her husband and calls to follow his feat. The hero of the picture anticipates the ideal of man of the era of the French Revolution. David combined classical images and forms with the ideas of the French Enlightenment, resulting in a new style – neoclassicism.