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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The bright Venetian colours and eye catching scenes chosen by Jacques Louis David makes his original paintings ideal as art print reproductions, for your home or office wall. Here we examine the best options available.

This artist covered a broad range within his career, from feminine portraits to military based depictions of pain and misery. He enjoyed challenging himself and also attracted a variety of donors during his career. There were also more complex compositions of historical themes that also star amongst his highlights. There are around one hundred Jacques Louis David paintings still in existence plus many more study drawings of varying detail. In some cases the most famous artworks from his career are that way because of the people involved, rather than the quality of the painting itself. See the portraits of Napoleon for examples of this. David's position within prominent art galleries has also helped him to remain in our minds for the last few generations.

His work is bright but classical, ideally suited to framed prints, perhaps with an inlay mat to separate the inside of the frame from the print itself. The style of frame to go for will depend on the content of the piece as well as the surrounding elements of wherever it is to be hung. The Neo-classicists and Romanticists from this period of French art hold strong reputations with art historians. It was perhaps the finest time for art in this region, although the impressionists were also particularly significant. Besides print reproductions from the work of Jacques Louis David, you may also enjoy Eugene Delacroix prints or Theodore Gericault prints. They all have large oeuvre several decades long, and so there is plenty of research to be had in finding your prefered artwork.

The full output from David's career is available from several different retailers online, thanks to the copyright free nature of art from this long ago. Some may even select a cropped area of detail from a larger piece, with many of his paintings have just so much visual work right across the composition. Although the younger generations tend not to be as interested in this style of art as compared to work from more recent movements, there are still enough people in the population to keep the likes of David still relevant and prominent. A visit to the Louvre, for example, will reveal some of the finest pieces from past centuries and that institution is amongst the most visited art venue in the world. His career output is now dispersed across Europe and North America, making it slightly harder to curate exhibitions of his work than if most was found in just a handful of museums. Despite that, there have been several displays of his paintings across the 20th century, both in France and also the US.

From the main oeuvre of this artist, which artwork might we go for? The most obvious place to start would be his most famous paintings, which include iconic titles such as The Death of Marat, Napoleon Crossing the Alps and The Oath of Horatii, though much depends on your own personal taste. There is a good variety of genres within his career, and so you can choose between incredibly complex history paintings, or simpler individual portraits. The main, major retailers should have the vast majority of his career covered and available, so it might take you some time to go through them all. One word of warning would be that choosing the wrong company to produce the print may lead to inferior products being received - there are many different retailers out there and it is always worth sticking with someone you trust in order to avoid the hassle of having to send something large back through the post at a later date, as well as chasing up a refund. Some online marketplaces, such as Amazon and Ebay, should have reviews and ratings alongside many products which should help you to choose from the more reliable sellers.

How might you customise your print, with so many options available to you? The bright tones used by David are ideal for reproduction, but the size of your print is an important thing to consider, as small reproductions may lose a lot of the original painting's detail. Therefore, his larger history paintings will need to be above a certain size in order to work effectively, whilst his single figure portraits can be smaller without any problems. This remains the case for all artists from past centuries, where some of their major artworks could be several metres wide and entirely unsuitable for modern homes. Once you have decided the size, you might also consider a frame which can add a beautiful finish to the overall product. Hanging, framed prints can look stunning, and you will need to match the style of the frame to the artist's own work. Something simple tends to work well in most modern homes, and perhaps just a black wooden frame will suffice. It also has the added benefit of protecting your artwork for years to come which is a key factor for those splashing out a large sum on it.

Finally, always consider your location too when picking a retail store, as well as considering the product to buy. Most countries have local stores which can deliver with much lower costs than if you are buying internationally. A framed print from abroad, for example, could incur huge taxes as well as shipping costs and massively impact your budget in unseen circumstances if you do not plan correctly. Ideally, check where everything is being delivered from and ensure shipping costs are mentioned upfront, to avoid this. Heavier products will also be more costly for delivery in most cases too, either because of the size of the print or if a frame has been added already. Some might prefer to frame items themselves, and this can be done fairly cost effectively with local homeware frames available in standard sizes. Again, plan things carefully and soon your home could have some beautiful art to lift it to a new level.