The Tennis Court Oath is a large work in pen and ink on paper. The painting for which it was drawn was never completed by David, partially for financial reasons, partially because of politics.
More Tennis Court Oath Painting By David images
The Tennis Court Oath is an incomplete painting by Jacques-Louis David, painted between 1790 and 1794 and showing the titular Tennis Court Oath at Versailles, one of the foundational events of the French Revolution. Political reversals and financial difficulties meant that David was never able to finish the canvas, which measures 400 by 660 cm and is now in the Musée national du Château de Versailles.
The Tennis Court Oath (French: Le Serment du Jeu de paume) is an incomplete painting by Jacques-Louis David, painted between 1790 and 1794 and showing the titular Tennis Court Oath at Versailles, one of the foundational events of the French Revolution.
Artist: Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) Title: The Tennis Court Oath (Le Serment du Jeu de Paume) establishing the National Assembly took place on the jeu de paume Versailles on the 20 June 1789. Date: 1790 – May 1791 . Media: Oil on Canvas. Collection: Musée de la Ville, Paris
The main focus of Jacques-Louis David’s painting, The Tennis Court Oath, is the man standing atop a table in the center of the scene with his right arm raised calmly into the air. Not only is he standing above everyone, but his actual hand is the only thing at that viewing level. His high raised hand signifies the great importance of the oath the he is taking.
The compelling nature of David’s paintings is sometimes considered as propaganda for the cause of the French Revolution. In this painting the artist depicted an event of the French Revolution, the Tennis Court Oath, where delegates vowed in defiance of royal authority not to leave until they had drafted a constitution for France.
Jacques-Louis David, The Tennis Court Oath (1791), Musée National du Château, Versailles . Image source: CGFA.
The Tennis Court Oath Oil painting by Jacques Louis David. One of the most pivotal important moments in French History happened to also be a major turning point for the French society now seen today. That moment would be the Tennis Court Oath.
While the events of the revolution prevented David from completing the painting, his preliminary engraving (above) survives and provides the best-known representation of the events of June 20th. David was not at Versailles himself and so was not witness to the Tennis Court Oath.