The Death of Socrates Jacques-Louis David

The Death of Socrates is a 1787 oil on canvas painting by the French painter Jacques-Louis David. Like many of his works from that decade, the painting focuses on a classical subject, in this case the story of the execution of Socrates, as told by Plato in his Phaedo. In this story, Socrates has been convicted of corrupting the youth of Athens and introducing strange gods, and has been sentenced to die by drinking poison hemlock. Socrates, rather than fleeing when the opportunity arises, uses his death as a final lesson for his pupils, and faces it calmly. The Phaedo, which depicts the death of Socrates, is also Plato's fourth and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final days, which is also detailed in Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito.




 In the painting, an old man in a white robe sits upright on a bed, one hand extended over a cup, the other gesturing in the air. He is surrounded by other men of varying ages, most showing emotional distress, unlike the stoic old man. The young man handing him the cup looks the other way, with his face in his free hand. Another young man clutches the thigh of the old man. An elderly man sits at the end of the bed, slumped over and looking in his lap. To the left of the painting, the wall becomes an arch, with more men in the background.Wikipedia

 
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