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The Head of the Dead Jean Paul Marat

Jacques Louis David French

Not on view

The political activist Jean Paul Marat was assassinated in his bath on July 13, 1793. In addition to depicting the murder scene in a painting, David made this posthumous record of his friend’s features, capturing the weight of the man’s lifeless head in a dense web of ink lines. The haunting representation shows Marat with his eyes still slightly open and his lips parted, as if poised to speak.

The Head of the Dead Jean Paul Marat, Jacques Louis David (French, Paris 1748–1825 Brussels), Pen and brown and black ink, over black chalk, with strips of paper added along the left and right margins and corners cut, pasted down on board

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