In the Shadow of David’s Brutus

  title={In the Shadow of David’s Brutus},
  author={Kevin Chua},
This essay rereads Jacques-Louis David’s The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons (1789)—long interpreted in terms of revolutionary virtue—in the light of Carl Schmitt’s theories of political foundation and sovereignty. By recovering the early complexity of the figure of Brutus, the essay shows how David’s painting anticipated the constitutional debates of September 1789.