Jacques-Louis David was a French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward classical austerity and severity and heightened feeling, harmonizing with the moral climate of the final years of the Ancien Régime. David became an active supporter of the French Revolution and friend of Maximilien Robespierre, was a dictator of the arts under the French Republic. Imprisoned after Robespierre's fall from power, he aligned himself with yet another political regime upon his release: that of Napoleon, The First Consul of France. At this time he notable for its use of warm Venetian colours. After Napoleon's fall from Imperial power and the Bourbon revival, David exiled himself to Brussels in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, where he remained until his death. David had a large number of pupils, making him the strongest influence in French art of the early 19th century academic Salon painting.
Jacques-Louis David was born into a prosperous French family in Paris on 30 August 1748. When he was about nine his father was killed in a duel and his mother left him with his well-off architect uncles, they saw to it that he received an excellent education at the Collège des Quatre-Nations, University of Paris, but he was never a good student—he had a facial tumor that impeded his speech, he was always preoccupied with drawing. He covered his notebooks with drawings, he once said, "I was always hiding behind the instructor's chair, drawing for the duration of the class". Soon, he desired to be a painter, he overcame the opposition, went to learn from François Boucher, the leading painter of the time, a distant relative. Boucher was a Rococo painter, but tastes were changing, the fashion for Rococo was giving way to a more classical style. Boucher decided that instead of taking over David's tutelage, he would send David to his friend, Joseph-Marie Vien, a painter who embraced the classical reaction to Rococo.
There, David attended the Royal Academy, based in. Each year the Academy awarded an outstanding student the prestigious Prix de Rome, which funded a 3- to 5-year stay in the Eternal City. Since artists were now revisiting classical styles, the trip to Rome provided its winners the opportunity to study the remains of classical antiquity and the works of the Italian Renaissance masters at first hand; each pensionnaire was lodged in the French Academy's Roman outpost, which from the years 1737 to 1793 was the Palazzo Mancini in the Via del Corso. David competed for, failed to win, the prize for three consecutive years; each failure contributed to his lifelong grudge against the institution. After his second loss in 1772, David went on a hunger strike, which lasted two and a half days before the faculty encouraged him to continue painting. Confident he now had the support and backing needed to win the prize, he resumed his studies with great zeal—only to fail to win the Prix de Rome again the following year.
In 1774, David was awarded the Prix de Rome on the strength of his painting of Erasistratus Discovering the Cause of Antiochus' Disease, a subject set by the judges. In October 1775 he made the journey to Italy with his mentor, Joseph-Marie Vien, who had just been appointed director of the French Academy at Rome. While in Italy, David studied the works of 17th-century masters such as Poussin and the Carracci. Although he declared, "the Antique will not seduce me, it lacks animation, it does not move", David filled twelve sketchbooks with drawings that he and his studio used as model books for the rest of his life, he was introduced to the painter Raphael Mengs, who opposed the Rococo tendency to sweeten and trivialize ancient subjects, advocating instead the rigorous study of classical sources and close adherence to ancient models. Mengs' principled, historicizing approach to the representation of classical subjects profoundly influenced David's pre-revolutionary painting, such as The Vestal Virgin from the 1780s.
Mengs introduced David to the theoretical writings on ancient sculpture by Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the German scholar held to be the founder of modern art history. As part of the Prix de Rome, David toured the newly excavated ruins of Pompeii in 1779, which deepened his belief that the persistence of classical culture was an index of its eternal conceptual and formal power. During the trip David assiduously studied the High Renaissance painters, Raphael making a profound and lasting impression on the young French artist. Although David's fellow students at the academy found him difficult to get along with, they recognized his genius. David's stay at the French Academy in Rome was extended by a year. In July 1780, he returned to Paris. There, he found people ready to use their influence for him, he was made an official member of the Royal Academy, he sent the Academy two paintings, both were included in the Salon of 1781, a high honor. He was praised by his famous contemporary painters, but the administration of the Royal Academy was hostile to this young upstart.
After the Salon, the King granted David lodging in the Louvre, an ancient and much desired privilege of great artists. When the contractor of the King's buildings, M. Pécoul, was arranging with David, he asked the artist to marry his daughter, Marguerite Charlotte; this marriage brought him money and four children
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Silent Storm is a tactical role-playing game for Microsoft Windows, developed by Nival Interactive and published by JoWood in 2003 and Encore Software in 2004. The game is set in a fictionalized World War II Europe with science fiction elements. An advanced game engine, the Silent Storm engine, was developed for the game and reused in several titles. Silent Storm was followed by the expansion Silent Storm: Sentinels in 2004. A third game taking place in the same setting, Hammer & Sickle, was co-developed by Novik&Co and released in 2005. A Gold edition containing both the original game and the expansion was released in Europe that same year; the player commands a team of up to six elite soldiers on the Axis or Allied side, undertaking a variety of missions. Once the player begins a campaign, they may select a premade character or create their own to lead the team through the game. Once the introductory mission is complete, the player can access a base complete with a medical station, personnel, a panzerklein hangar.
From this point, the player may select a team of six characters from a pool of 20. Each character has a role such as medic, scout, soldier or engineer; each role has different liabilities in battle. As the player progresses through the game, the armoury will receive new weapons for the player to use, either stolen from enemies or contributed from their own forces. Silent Storm depicts a wide variety of the authentic weaponry and equipment of circa 1943 with great detail. Mixed into otherwise realistic elements is a plot that features secret weapon projects reminiscent of spy-fi, including energy weapons. Most notable are the Panzerkleins, crude powered armour suits; the game features a remarkably advanced physics model. Nearly all structures are destructible; this has many tactical effects in the combat. For instance, if a character hears an enemy moving in an adjacent room, they can fire through the wall to attack them. Silent Storm employs ragdoll physics for bodies according to the precise velocity of an impact.
Three-dimensional mapping allows for obstruction calculations and cover effects from all angles. Bullets ricochet and their stopping power depends on the weapon; the effects are exaggerated for a more cinematic experience. The game's story takes place during World War II in an alternate history. Thor's Hammer Organization, is a shadowy organization with connections all over Europe and the goal of world domination. THO knows that this goal cannot be attained while there are powers capable of challenging them, aims to use its connections and advanced technology to make sure the two sides of World War II devastate each other, while THO makes a grab for power when both are exhausted; the obvious influence of Norse mythology on the organization's name is further shown by the fact that all THO members use a mythological name as their call sign. In exchange for the services of both Allied and Axis higher-ups, Thor's Hammer provides them with some of their inventions, including Panzerkleins. Panzerkleins are difficult to destroy, as they are immune to small arms fire.
Silent Storm was awarded "E3 2003 Best of Show" in the tactical genre by Wargamer.com. The game's Metacritic score, GameTab score and MobyRank are 82.93 % and 84, respectively. The game however suffered from a lack of sales in the United States due to lack of marketing. While praised for its tactical depth and the quality of its game engine, the game has been criticized for its "silly", "over-the-top" story and voice acting, for its inclusion of science fiction elements—specifically the Panzerkleins—and their effect upon game balance in the latter stages of the game; the game's "tired", "played-out" World War II setting, poor performance on contemporary hardware, lack of meaningful managerial features, lack of multiplayer, were noted. Silent Storm won PC Gamer US's "Best Turn-Based Strategy Game 2004" award. Mark H. Walker of the magazine praised its "sweaty-palm firefights, clever leveling system, its use of its World War II setting"; the editors of Computer Gaming World nominated Silent Storm as their 2004 "Strategy Game of the Year", although it lost to The Sims 2.
They wrote that it "almost walked away with the award because it exhibited an addictive combination of turn-based strategy and roleplaying that hasn't been so well executed since Jagged Alliance." The staff of X-Play nominated Silent Storm for their 2004 "Best Original Game" award, which went to Katamari Damacy. Silent Storm at MobyGames