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Two Studies of Dubois-Crancé and Robespierre for “The Oath of the Tennis Court”

Jacques Louis David French

Not on view

David approached contemporary events in much the same way he did subjects from ancient history, by making multiple studies of figures and figural groups, first nude, then clothed, tweaking their poses and props.

Here, two sheets affixed side-by-side record different stages of the process. The pair, Edmond Dubois-Crancé and Maximilien Robespierre, appear right of center in the finished drawing hanging nearby, their positions swapped. The two figures indicated in pen-and-ink contour at far right were probably traced from another sketch in an attempt to gauge placement and overlap.

Two Studies of Dubois-Crancé and Robespierre for “The Oath of the Tennis Court”, Jacques Louis David (French, Paris 1748–1825 Brussels), Pen and black ink, brush and gray wash, over black chalk (left), pen and black ink over black chalk (right), on two joined sheets

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