Before France’s violent transformation from a monarchy to a republic, there was an artistic period rich in investigation of color and the human body that helped shape the way religious figures were represented. Jacques Louis David was one artist with great talent in the particular Neoclassical style. David would use his talent to aid in teaching people about the Catholic faith through his art. Then teach his audience to a abandon any sort of faith in religion and, finally, to produce propaganda for the French Dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte.
This change in the iconography of this man’s work is directly caused by his change of allegiance from his Catholic faith, to the atheist revolutionaries, and finally to the French man who attempted to conquer Europe. His change in loyalties lead to the change of the content in his art thus showing what can happen in the complete annihilation of sacred, religious, context from society and replace it with the profane, or, rather, the scientific context of life.
These three images along with this YouTube video illustrates the evolution of Jacques Louis David’s art by consequence of a changing atmosphere between religious doctrine and secular affairs.
Can religion and secular entities coexist without the friction of differing opinions of the truth causing physical conflict?
Can both ideas survive simultaneously in society?