Growing a Fuller Portrait of Marat – an essay for The Curator
My familiarity of Marat has always arisen completely from the painting, “The Death of Marat.”
To me, Marat has been a figure murdered, an image of vulnerability and pain. Here, the brush of Jacques-Louis David has told me, is a man of letters, violated in the privacy of his warm bath.
When did the death occur? Why? I never knew because I first saw David’s painting in an art survey course, not in a history text. I never connected Marat with a particular moment in history, though I suspected it involved a time of fervor, of war. And I knew he was French.
So my ears perked when Marat’s name surfaced in William Doyle’s The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Aha! Now I can know the man, know why he was murdered with his quill in hand, his work unfinished.
But, oh my, this is not the Marat I thought I saw.
From my essay “Growing a Fuller Portrait of Marat.” Read the rest at The Curator.