Thermidor Fun Fact Day Thirty: David’s painting and the myth of Marat

Today is the 221st anniversary of Charlotte Corday’s assassination of Jean-Paul Marat, left-wing journalist and politician, author of the newspaper L’Ami du peuple. Marat’s fame would doubtless have waned years ago, if not for the gorgeous portrait by Jacques-Louis David called La Mort de Marat (1793). Produced by order of the Convention in response to the groundswell of anger after Marat’s murder, in David’s masterful hands Marat looks younger, more handsome, and healthier than he really was. He symbolizes the people’s triumph over adversity. That is why David represented Charlotte Corday as ………. in the painting.

a. crucified behind the martyred Marat

b. lying at the feet of the martyred Marat

c. peering in the window at Marat in the bathtub

d. absent

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