The first painting, which incidentally the artist
himself thought ignited this change in thought (and the French Revolution),
is Jacques-Louis Davidís The Oath of the Horatii, 1784-5. By this
time, David was already sympathetic to the revolutionary cause: liberte (liberty),
egalite (equality), and fraternite (a brotherhood among
all men). For this statement, he chose an episode from ancient Roman history.
Rival clans, the Horatii and Curiatii, clashed over grazing rights for their herds.
Rather than a long drawn out war devastating both populations, the sides
agreed to send their best three men, and whoever was standing at the end
would hand victory to his people.