The oath of the Jeu de Paume, June 20, 1789

The oath of the Jeu de Paume, June 20, 1789


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  • The Oath of the Jeu de Paume, June 20, 1789 (sketch).

    DAVID Jacques Louis (1748 - 1825)

  • Le Oath du Jeu de Paume, 20 June 1789 (draft).

    DAVID Jacques Louis (1748 - 1825)

To close

Title: The Oath of the Jeu de Paume, June 20, 1789 (sketch).

Author : DAVID Jacques Louis (1748 - 1825)

Creation date : 1791

Date shown: June 20, 1789

Dimensions: Height 66 - Width 101.2

Technique and other indications: commissioned by the Société des Amis de la Constitution for the sitting room of the National Assembly in 1790 in pen and brown ink, with repetitions in certain places in pen and black ink, brown wash and heightened with white on pencil lines

Storage place: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais

Picture reference: 83-000530 / MV 8409; INV Drawings 736

Le Oath du Jeu de Paume, 20 June 1789 (sketch).

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais

To close

Title: Le Oath du Jeu de Paume, 20 June 1789 (draft).

Author : DAVID Jacques Louis (1748 - 1825)

Creation date : 1791

Date shown: June 20, 1789

Dimensions: Height 358 - Width 648

Technique and other indications: commissioned by the Société des Amis de la Constitution for the meeting room of the National Assembly in 1790 Canvas, charcoal drawing, black and white pencils, oil

Storage place: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais

Picture reference: 86-001292 / MV 5841

Le Oath du Jeu de Paume, 20 June 1789 (draft).

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais

Publication date: September 2020

Video

The Oath of the Tennis Court

Video

Historical context

This founding event of the French Revolution constitutes a symbolic step in the destruction of absolutism.

The opening of

States General

had given rise to a procedural dispute: the

third state

wanted the meeting of the three orders as well as the vote by head, the vote by order necessarily giving the majority to the clergy and the nobility. Louis XVI had the deputies' meeting room closed. On June 20, 1789, they

took an oath

never to separate before having drafted a constitution.

Image Analysis

The scene takes place in the Jeu de Paume room,

David

designed the architecture in situ. In the overall composition known by the large and magnificent drawing of Versailles exhibited at the Salon of 1791, the deputies are grouped together beyond a fictitious line as on the stage of a theater, thus leaving the public the illusion of 'belong to the other half (invisible) of the spectators of the scene. This theatricality is further enhanced by the gestures of the deputies taking the oath.

On the unfinished canvas, the suggested nudity under the clothes still contributes to the idealization of the scene which David did not attend, but which he wished to raise to the rank of a universal act. All eyes converge on Bailly, mayor of Paris, sketched on the canvas in white pencil, like all the still naked figures. It was Bailly, dean of the third estate, who replied to the Marquis de Dreux-Brézé, King's emissary:

“I believe the assembled nation cannot take orders. "

In these drawings, with their perfect, heroic anatomy, the clothes in gray paint are sketched, then the bodies are again, still naked, reshaped in gray paint shaded with bistre.

The large fragment of David's unfinished canvas presents four almost finished portraits: Barnave, Michel Gérard, Dubois-Crancé and Mirabeau. Among the characters outlined, we can distinguish

Robespierre

, Dom Gerle, Abbé Grégoire, Rabaud-Saint-Étienne, Doctor Guillotin and Treilhard. As for the large overall drawing, even if several characters, including Bailly, are already recognizable there, the booklet of the Salon of 1791 curiously specified that "the Author did not intend to give the members of the 'Assembly ". David had nevertheless started to paint a few heads.

Interpretation

David wishes here to found a new painting in the image of the new revolutionary France: a symbolic canvas if there is one, The Oath of the Tennis Court should have competed with

The School of Athens

of a Raphael as much by the scale of the composition as by the breath which animates it, by its theatrical stripping, its purity inspired by the antique, as by the order and the clarity which govern the distribution of the characters and in a pinch of action. The very notion of the oath, symbol of the nation's commitment to its indestructible unity, will be at the heart of all the great commitments of the Revolution. This is the idea of ​​the unifying feast (like

that of the Federation

) which therefore presides over the execution of this masterpiece, the destination of which, desired by the Constituent, was the hall of the Assembly.

The fate of Oath of the Tennis Court is like the revolutionary movement: the subscription launched by the

Jacobins

to finance its realization did not succeed. The Constituent Assembly decided to finance David's work at the expense of the "Public Treasury", but the artist's progressive engagement in the Revolution and the gap that widened between the moderates and the extremists made this deification of unity null and void. national, and the canvas was never completed. She even received, according to the testimony of

Alive Denon

, many bayonet shots during the

insurrection of August 10, 1792

, while it was stored in the

Great Gallery of the Louvre

.

  • National Assembly
  • Clergy
  • deputies
  • States General
  • revolutionary figures
  • revolutionary days
  • Marat (Jean-Paul)
  • Mirabeau (Honoré Gabriel Riqueti de)
  • naked
  • Robespierre (Maximilian of)
  • oath
  • Oath of the Tennis Court
  • Third state
  • Versailles
  • Barnave (Antoine)

Bibliography

Philippe BORDES, The Oath of the Jeu de Paume by Jacques-Louis David. National Museum of the Palace of Versailles, Paris, RMN, 1983.

To cite this article

Robert FOHR and Pascal TORRÈS, "The oath of the Jeu de paume, June 20, 1789"

Connections


Video: La Révolution française - Extrait 1: Le Serment du jeu de Paume


Comments:

  1. Willmar

    Do you yourself realize what you wrote?

  2. Aragor

    we will see

  3. Sakasa

    This remarkable idea, by the way, just falls

  4. Beaumains

    I consider, that you have misled.



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