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The Oath of the Horatii

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, revolutionaries began to use important episodes of Roman history that could serve their ideology. The painter Jacques-Louis David will be one of the leaders of this "neoclassical" movement and will undoubtedly be among the most outstanding.

This episode shows the moment that three Horatti sons solemnly swear to their father fidelity to Rome. Then they would go to fight the inhabitants of the city of Alba and only one will return victorious. When he comes back, he kills his sister because she mourned the death of her fiancé, an inhabitant of that city.

The scene is like watching a play. It shows us a rather sober republican house where male characters are defined with straight lines and warm and strong colors, while women with soft lines and lighter colors. David transports us to the past and shows us a photo, a unique scene of that unique moment.