In this Reflection, you will compare the following two works of art: The Death of Marat (1793), by Jacques-Louis David , Neoclassicism The Third of May, 1808 (1814), by Francisco Goya, Romanticism

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This is an image of a painting titled "The Death of Marat" by Jacques-Louis David This is an image of a painting titled "The Third of May" by Francisco Goya

Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Marat Francisco Goya, The Third of May, 1808


Jacques-Louis David and Francisco Goya were both preeminent artists of their time. David, himself, was a Jacobin and voted for the execution of Louis XVI. Then, later, as a member of the Committee of General Security, he contributed to the Reign of Terror, in which thousands died at the guillotine for nothing more than being politically moderate. He painted his masterpiece, The Death of Marat, in 1793 to memorialize his friend Marat, a paranoid fanatic and one of his co-leaders of the Reign of Terror. In short, he was a masterful artist of political propaganda and one of the leaders of the French Revolution.

Spanish artist Francisco Goya was a groundbreaking Romantic painter and contemporary of David. He was court painter to Charles IV of Spain and he personally witnessed the horrific atrocities that occurred in the wake of the French Revolution and in the ensuing Napoleonic era. At first, he welcomed Napoleon’s invading army because he was sympathetic to the democratic values of the French Revolution. That was until he discovered that the occupying army was destroying, rather than defending, these values.

In this reflection, you will compare and contrast a key painting by each artist in order to understand how each work expresses the worldview of the artist and the formal style of the period (Neoclassical or Romantic) in which it was created.

Your Assignment

In this writing assignment, you will submit a 600-750 word (approximately one page) “tiny” paper, in which you analyze and compare important paintings by Francisco Goya and Jacques Louis David. This format requires you to condense your ideas and focus only on those that are directly relevant to the topic.

This Reflection is worth 100 points. Please read the Grading Rubric before you begin.

Due Date

Submission Deadline: This Reflection assignment is due by Sunday, November 24, at 11:59 p.m.


In this Reflection, you will compare the following two works of art:

  • The Death of Marat (1793), by Jacques-Louis David , Neoclassicism
  • The Third of May, 1808 (1814), by Francisco Goya, Romanticism


Step One: Review the Course Content

1. Complete the reading and study guides for Neoclassicism and Romanticism, found on pages 360-366 of Artforms.

2. Watch the videos that directly relate to these two works of art. Take notes while you watch each video. By this point in the course, you will already have watched them. They are found here:

How to Interpret a Work of Art

Video and Study Guide: Jacques-Louis David

Commentary and Videos: Neoclassical Painting

3. Organize your notes into logical categories that integrate key ideas and concepts from the videos and reading.

Step Two: Write your Reflection

In 600-750 words, compare and contrast each of the two paintings, based on the criteria below. Then, upload this paper as a Word or PDF document to the submission link for this assignment.

  1. Begin with an outline to organize what you plan to write.
  2. Write 2-3 strong paragraphs in which you compare and contrast each work of art. You can organize your reflection in the way that works best for you.

Address the following issues and support your ideas with careful observations of the images:

  1. What actual political or historical events inspired each of these works and what role did each artist play in these events?
  2. What is the political statement or message in each work of art and how does the formal style of each painting reinforce this message?
  3. How does each artist’s approach to painting the subject reflect the formal style of the corresponding period (Neoclassical or Romantic)?

Step Three: Submit your Reflection

Please submit your assignment to the Submit Assignment link at the upper right. You may upload a PDF or enter a text response into the text box provided. If you choose text entry, I recommend that you first compose and revise your Write-up in Word or other application, then cut and paste it into the text entry box in Canvas. Please use 12 point Times New Roman, single-spaced, and be concise.

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