A-Level: War—Participants

videos + essays

Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, <em>Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Pest House in Jaffa</em>
Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Pest House in Jaffa

Napoleon masterfully manipulated his image, and this painting meant for Parisian audiences is pure propaganda.

Ibrahim El-Salahi, <em>Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams</em>
Ibrahim El-Salahi, Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams

How would you paint a picture of something that’s not quite representable… like the sound of voices chanting, a spiritual vision, a childhood memory, or a dream that you can’t remember?

Hiram Powers, <em>The Greek Slave</em>
Hiram Powers, The Greek Slave

Though at first glance this nude seems plucked from classical antiquity, it actually alludes to modern politics.

Marsden Hartley, <em>Portrait of a German Officer</em>
Marsden Hartley, Portrait of a German Officer

Does a portrait need to be an accurate visual representation of the subject?

Jacques-Louis David, <em>Oath of the Horatii</em>
Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii

In style and story, this rigorously organized canvas looked back to antiquity; it soon became an icon of Revolution.

<em>Battle of the Romans and Barbarians (Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus)</em>
Battle of the Romans and Barbarians (Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus)

Romans fight barbarians on this chaotic coffin, which shows signs of a turn in artistic trends.

Peter Paul Rubens, <em>The Consequences of War</em>
Peter Paul Rubens, The Consequences of War

This energetic painting captures the horror of war, from its overwhelming hopelessness to its cultural costs.

<em>Victory Stele of Naram-Sin</em>
Victory Stele of Naram-Sin

Naram-Sin leads his victorious army up a mountain, as vanquished Lullubi people fall before him.

Eugène Delacroix, <em>Liberty Leading the People</em>
Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People

Bare-breasted with a bayonet? Liberty leads a revolution that won’t be televised but will be seen in the Paris Salon.

David, <em>The Lictors Returning to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons</em>
David, The Lictors Returning to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons

The stark space of this painting echoes the stoicism of its narrative—and reflects David’s research into antiquity.

Jacques-Louis David, <em>The Intervention of the Sabine Women</em>
Jacques-Louis David, The Intervention of the Sabine Women

Think of the children! In contrast to David’s earlier paintings, this scene extols the strength of women.

Eugène Delacroix, <em>Scene of the Massacre at Chios</em>
Eugène Delacroix, Scene of the Massacre at Chios

Delacroix’s scene of Greek survivors is anything but heroic and offers no relief to the suffering depicted.