What Schama means about the painting of “The Death of Marat” is that although David painted the painting to make the citizens become morally good and educated, the painting demonstrates another point of view. The other point of view that is demonstrated in the painting is that the painting makes people think that Marat is a good citizen of France even though Marat was a radical person, with the way he worked to get people sent to the guillotine whether there was evidence or not. I agree with Schama that David is betraying art because he paints Marat in a way to show the highest type of humanity and makes you believe that Marat is good, even though he was very radical during the revolution. David is also betraying art by portraying Marat’s death as a beautiful and ethereal moment. The contours and the brush from the paintbrush show that Marat’s death is not a horrific moment but a calm and peaceful moment where it looks like he is hanging between life and death. Also, with Marat looking so perfect without a single blemish on his skin, one wouldn’t realize that in actuality that Marat was a person that had a horrible skin disease and that isn’t shown in the painting.
David painting this way is a lie to the people. From a gruesome assassination murder, it turns into a painting of a martyr since Marat was killed because of what he believed in during the revolution and his contributions to the revolution. Although David wants this piece of art to be for a moral purpose it is not because he is disrespecting how the murder of a human life should be shown and is putting Marat into the light of goodness. David, in reality, was turning away from being an artist and is turned into a propagandist. He is a propagandist because with this painting he is parading that Marat as a symbol of the revolution, a person that has goodness. David’s painting ‘The Death of Marat” is a painting that doesn’t educate the citizens but instead is a presented lie for them.