Death of Marat

Waxwork in glass vitrine

200 x 170.2 x 250 cms


A waxwork of the artist as Jean Paul Marat on his death bed, based on the painting of the same name by Jacques-Louis David.

This is a sculpture recreation of Jacques-Louis David’s 1793 painting of the same name. David was a neo-classical painter who helped swing public opinion for the French revolution. Jean-Paul Marat was a revolutionary martyr who was stabbed to death while writing in the bath (he suffered from a skin disease that was soothed by bathing). In this version, however, Marat is replaced by a waxwork of Turk himself posed in a mirror image of the original paining. Wax figures were first popularised by Madame Tussaud, who began her career as an art instructor to the French royal family guillotined in the revolution. Tussaud won favour with the revolutionaries by modelling wax replicas of her former masters’ severed heads, and even made a waxwork of Marat the same year that David produced his painting.