In this work, David depicts Brutus--the Roman who famously ordered the execution of his sons when they were found guilty of treason--along with his wife and daughters. Rather than showing the execution or tribunal, he illustrates the gut-wrenching domestic aftermath. "I think David got at some essential aspect of being a parent," says curator Perrin Stein.
Before painting his iconic canvas, "The Lictors Bringing Brutus the Bodies of His Sons" in 1789, Jacques Louis David spent several years crafting the composition through a series of drawn studies. Compare the painting with the drawings through four striking juxtapositions.