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A Comparison of Jacques-Lois David and Joseph Goebbels

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"The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never again escape from it" (Goebbels). Both Jacques-Lois David and Joseph Goebbels were aspiring men who rose above the standards that were set for them and utilized their own individual talent in order to sway people's opinions to match their own. They both possessed extraordinary talent and ideas for their time, where Jacques-Lois David was an artist who mastered in the neoclassical style of painting and used his art work as a form of propaganda to represent a biased view from a revolutionary on occurring events; where as Joseph Goebbels had superb journaling abilities and dominated the media in Russia.

Jacques-Lois David was an exquisite artist of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century who had a well educated background in the field of painting. After the tragic death of his father, Jacques-Lois David went to live with his uncle Francois Buron. From here David went to study at Academie Royales, in Italy, and was taught by J.M Vein who was a master of the Rococo style. After four years of attending Academie Royales David won the internationally recognized Prix de Rome with his work of Antiochus and Stratonice. David returned to Paris, after spending five years in Italy drawing antique models, to open his own studio where he taught and took on commissioned portraits. Jacques-Lois David was already beginning to set a fashionable trend with his style of paint by centering his work on the splendor of personal suffering and creating a story with each painting. At the age of twenty six David commissioned a portrait of the King based on the story of Livy, where in early Rome three brothers took an oath to conquer despite any personal feelings, which lead to his international fame and recognition. Although he began his career with commissions, he soon became involved with new powers of the revolution in France.

Jacques-Lois David was the propaganda minister of the French revolution and it was said that he was "a man who could turn an unruly mob, ready to kill for a loaf of bread, into a tearful patriots willing to die for a cause"(Unknown). During the French revolution art was used as a means of political propaganda, especially by David, because the art would speak in support of the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity for the revolution. David was an eager supporter of the revolution and soon became a member of the Jacobin club in 1789 and then into a higher status of power as Deputy of the convention in 1792. As the Deputy of the convention he voted alongside Robespierre and other members on the left radical regime for the execution of Lois XVI and Maria Antoinette. One of Jacques-Lois David's most famous paintings was of the assignation of Jean-Paul Marat after he had been stabbed in the bath, The Death of Marat. He quickly became a benefactor for Robespierre and as Robespierre fell from power and was overthrown, David was arrested and sent to prison, only to be released by a plea made by his wife. After his imprisonment his political career came to an end but his artistic career continued where he went on to paint the well-known The Intervention of the Sabine Women. Jacques-Lois David was an aspiring artist who, through his life, not only portrayed the changing political spectrum but also his own artic development.



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