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The Death of Marat

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium / Brussels / Art

Jacques Louis David’s The Death of Marat sees the murdered revolutionary leader, Jean-Paul Marat, slumped in a bathtub, a letter in his left hand and a quill pen in his right. A knife wound marks his breast and blood dots a white sheet. The work has been cited as “the first modernist painting” by the art historian T. J. Clarke, who notes “the way it took the stuff of politics as its material, and it did not transmute it.” Since 1893, The Death of Marat has lived at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Belgium. This exhibition focuses on historical and contemporary analyses of David’s work, which at first glance appears straightforward but actually holds depths of meaning. —E.C.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium Rue de la Régence 3, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
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