The Tennis Court Oath at Versailles by Jacques–Louis David Description This amazingly rich sketch by Jacques–Louis David is one of the most famous works from the French revolutionary era.
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' was sketched by Jacques-Louis David in 1791, and it captured and preserved a historic moment in French history. David's use of symbolism and his vibrant artistic technique...
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.
Collection: Musée de la Ville, Paris. David completed the final study for the Tennis Court Oath in May 1791 and the work was shown in the Salon of 1791. David intended to do a further painting based on this composition but it was never completed. In preparation for this work, David produced a number of sketches and preparatory works notably the Versailles and Louvre Sketchbooks and individual drawings.
Jacques-Louis David, The Tennis Court Oath (1791), Musée National du Château, Versailles . Image source: CGFA.
Like the fall of the Bastille a fortnight later, the Tennis Court Oath became a memorable gesture of revolutionary defiance against the old regime. The prominent artist Jacques-Louis David later immortalised the oath in a dramatic portrait. Background. The Tennis Court Oath followed several days of tension and confrontation at the Estates-General.
The Tennis Court Oath (20 June 1789) preceded the abolition of feudalism (4 August 1789) and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (26 August 1789) as the National Assembly became increasingly radical. Following the 100 year celebration of the oath in 1889, what had been the Royal Tennis Court was again forgotten and deteriorated.
Jacques-Louis David’s Le Serment du Jeu de Paume, or The Tennis Court Oath presents us with a chaotic scene. In this unfinished painting, there are hundreds of people clustered together, seemingly in a frenzy. Yet, there is no physical violence in the painting.