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Warrior on Horseback, Sheathing his Sword

Jacques Louis David French

Not on view

In David’s 1799 painting, The Intervention of the Sabine Women, it is not weapons and bloodshed that end a battle between warring tribes, but a woman’s emotional entreaty. Across the dense melee of figures, soldiers drop their bloody daggers and remove their helmets, as David catalogues the various gestures that signal a peace beginning to take hold.

The cavalry general re-sheathing his sword was an element that was added late in the design process. On this sheet, David drew two quick sketches, working out the details of the pose.

Warrior on Horseback, Sheathing his Sword, Jacques Louis David (French, Paris 1748–1825 Brussels), Black chalk

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