The Death of Socrates is completed in 1787, oil on canvas painting by Jacques-Louis David, a French painter in the Neoclassicism period who’s born in Angst 30, 1748 and died on December 29, 1825. The painting’s dimension is 129. 5cm x 196. 2 cm, and it is located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Jacques-Louis David was born into a wealthy family in Paris. When he was 16 years old, he admitted to the Royal Academy of Painting Sculpture learning. After several failures in competitions and finding more discouragement than support, he attempted suicide by avoid eating food.
After he won the Prix de Rome Prize in 1774, he went to Rome for further investigations on neoclassical ideas. In 1784, he completed Oath of the Horatii, which makes him a rising figure in art world. This painting was a classical heroism theme of the painting; dignified color and composition make it a strict classical painting masterpiece. In 1787, David displayed the Death of Socrates, which the time during the monarchy and French Revolution; it happened right after the American Revolution, this was when people were fighting for their freedom, fighting against monarchies, against wealth and standing for themselves.
Socrates was a Greek philosopher who lived in Athens in Ancient Greece. Based on the museum label, Socrates accused by the Athenian government of denying acknowledge the gods and corrupting the city’s youth and sentenced to death by drinking hemlock. He was offer the choice of renouncing his beliefs or dying by drinking a cup of hemlock. He was guilty of corrupting the young and of not believing in the god in whom the city believes, but in other new spiritual things.
The Death of Socrates is a conceptual style printing which gives a notion, idea or concept, by simplification of action and figure to a few important traits; it is an asymmetrical painting with more figures on the left side than the right side. From the door fired a bunch of sunshine, so that people portrayed from the dark; Socrates is located in the center of the visual position; he was sitting in his bed with a naked and muscular upper body and with these white robes draped around him.
Neoclassical artists, such as Jacques-Louis David, were inspired by Ancient Greece and Rome, we can tell by their dressing, ideal way of showing Socrates is strong and muscular; the figures have gentle angles, smooth body, and sense of curve of their finest body shapes. In contrast, the other figures are in a darker area of the painting and they are not naked. The lighting effect gives Socrates a godlike quality, suggesting viewers that he is the main character. That’s light, medium and dark values on Socrates’ white robes draped around him, which gives three-dimensional form as well as lines, shapes and direction of light.
The background is black fixing attention on the foreground like a freeze the action can be read from side to side. The edge of the shadow on the wall and the lines on the floor keep audiences inside the painting. From left to right, there is overlapping on Socrates’ followers, which they were curling and twisting, so viewers wouldn’t be able to see the whole body. Followers are emotional; they look frantic, and their sight flows down through his right arm which hovers over the cup of poison. He got his left finger pointing in the air like he is preaching and teaching his disciples insights and perspectives to his followers.
The space between his right hand and the company is the exact center of the image that falls into the delivers the poison drink that turn his gaze away from Socrates. Clutching Socrates’ leg is Crito, his oldest most faithful student, and friend, Crito is begging Socrates not to drink the prison drink hemlock. The vanishing point of the pictures lies just above the head of Plato, who is seated at the foot of Socrates’ bed. He closed his eyes seems like he was dreaming about the death of Socrates by emphasizing this printing from left to right.
The world sense seems appears to explode at the back of Plato’s head, which contextualize it as Plato’s idealize memory about Socrates. The makings of scroll underneath Plato and the floor create visual interest and make the object more believable with texture. Socrates was put in a prison cell because there were ankles chains under the bed, a metal hook on the wall, windows with bar. The women, Socrates’ wife Xanthippe on the back waving her hand to say goodbye to Socrates. The windows are made with a half oval shape; stones, where Plato and Crito are sitting, are rectangular; the wall is made up of rectangular blocks.