Simon Schama's Power of Art


Season 1, Episode 4 of 8

The Death of Marat (1793) - When the arch-denouncer and violent journalist Jean-Paul Marat, the 'friend of the people', is stabbed in his bath in July 1793, Jacques-Louis David - painter for the Revolution - promises to make an image of the martyr, for France and for the world. And so he does, creating an altarpiece for the new church of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. It is the work of a fantastic propagandist. Marat the fanatic is transformed into Marat the pure and selfless. Art has become, irreversibly, the accomplice of power.

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