‘Leonidas at Thermopylae by Jacques-Louis David’

David completed the massive work (13.0 ft by 17.4 ft) 15 years after he began. SPARTA! This act of bravery and sacrifice by King Leonidas and his 300 soldiers inspired David as France waged its own campaigns against rival European powers that wanted to restore France’s pre-revolutionary ancient régime. In 1813-14, when he finished the painting, European powers allied against the First French Empire were invading France to topple the emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, and David again found inspiration in the story of Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae.

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