Portrait of Madame Recamier - Jacques Louis David. Oil on Canvas, 174x215; 244 cm
Portrait of Madame Recamier is proclaimed an exceptional case, almost the only example of the Empire style in easel painting.
Madame Julie Recamier was the mistress of one of the most brilliant Parisian salons. She wished to order a portrait from David. The painter enthusiastically set to work, however, the conditions in which he had to paint from nature were constantly unsatisfied with the master - either the light fell not so, the room itself was too dark. In view of these discontent, the work progressed so slowly that the energetic Julie asked her to complete a portrait of another artist, which greatly offended David.
The painter did not allow another artist to invade his creative space, but in revenge, left the portrait unfinished. However, this did not greatly affect the quality of this amazing work, and David himself regretted it very much.
The heroine is depicted on a canapa, more like a certain Greek bed. In general, this portrait can be called a vivid example of the imitation of antiquity - the heroine's pose, bare feet, a spacious dress with a high waist, all this resembles Greek heroines.
According to the artist, the background of the portrait was to be decorated with various fashionable elements of the interior, but only a candelabra managed to find its embodiment.