Analysis Of The Death Of Socrates

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“The Death of Socrates: One Last Lesson”
Living in the metropolitan area, I was lucky enough to be able to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and view Jacques Louis David’s neoclassical piece, The Death of Socrates. David’s work portrays Socrates in his final moments. Socrates was being put to death due to what the government thought of was corrupting young minds with his teachings (“The Death of Socrates…”). Socrates was a Greek philosopher. He has been said to be the whole reason behind Western Philosophy (“Socrates”). One of his most famous students is Plato, who can be seen in the painting as well. Socrates is embracing death, while the people surrounding him are not taking his death as easy. Since his whole life was based
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Although the government was putting Socrates to death for “corrupting young minds”, Socrates believed in democracy. He was ultimately accepting of his death, no matter how hard it is for one to accept.
Neoclassicism was a modernized result of the baroque style and classical style before. The Death of Socrates was the beginning of neoclassicism. This piece evoked emotion, much like pieces from the baroque period. It was compared to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Stanze (“The Death of Socrates – Jacques-Louis David”). It was considered one of David’s greatest pieces of work. Jacques-Louis David was considered one of the best neoclassicism artists of the time.
The Death of Socrates is one of Jacques-David most famous paintings. The oil on canvas painting was completed in 1787 in France (“The Death of Socrates – Jacques-Louis David”). It has been said it was the greatest painting since the Sistine Chapel (Padiyar 27). David uses light to set the mood and atmosphere of the photo. The sun is somehow shining down into a dungeon onto Socrates, creating the center of attention.
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The Sistine Chapel is located in the Vatican City where the Pope lives in Italy. Although there were many other artists that painted within the chapel, Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the ceiling. Michelangelo used light to help convey the stories he had painted on the ceiling. As well as the Sistine Chapel, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci could complement The Death of Socrates. The Last Supper was painted before The Death of Socrates and is in Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy. It is not considered a true fresco style painting due to is being painted on a dry surface as opposed to a wet surface ("The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci – Facts about the Painting."). Unfortunately, due to the materials and process used to paint The Last Supper, it needs to be restored quite frequently ("The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci – Facts about the Painting."). The Death of Socrates reminds me of The Last Supper due to the central figures, Jesus/Socrates, coming to terms with their deaths. There followers are gathered around them to be with them for the last moments. Similar to Jesus, Socrates too, had a following of people. Jesus had his disciples, while Socrates has his students. Both Jesus and Socrates were both willing to accept the inevitable. They kept their dignity until the very end of their life. Most the of the men look to be upset or
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