The Death of Socrates – Jacques Louis David (ca. 1786)


The drawing illuminates the artist’s main concerns. The perspective lines on the lower left side of the sheet recede towards a vanishing point just above Plato’s head, who is seated at the foot of the bed. This highlights the special role of Plato, who was not present in Socrates’ prison cell but described the scene in his Dialogue, Phaedo. Socrates, in his final moments, gestured towards the heavens, describing his notions on the immortality of the soul to his disciples. David lightly sketched the form of an ancient lyre, a musical instrument metaphorically representing the relationship of the human soul (music) to the body (instrument) in Plato’s text, which is just behind Socrates’s right leg.

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Museum-quality prints

Museum-quality prints made on thick matte paper. Add a wonderful accent to your room and office with these prints that are sure to brighten any environment.

• Paper thickness: 10.3 mil
• Paper weight: 189 g/m²
• Opacity: 94%
• ISO brightness: 104%
• Paper is sourced from Japan

This product is made especially for you as soon as you place an order, which is why it takes us a bit longer to deliver it to you. Making products on demand instead of in bulk helps reduce overproduction, so thank you for making thoughtful purchasing decisions!

Philosophical Legacy

Step into the ancient Athenian courtroom as Socrates, the iconic philosopher, faces his fate with unwavering resolve. David’s meticulous lines capture the tension and solemnity of the scene, inviting you to contemplate the timeless questions of morality, justice, and the pursuit of truth.

Dramatic Narrative

Experience the dramatic narrative of Socrates’ final moments as he calmly accepts his sentence of death. Through David’s skillful rendering, you can feel the weight of the philosopher’s words and the profound impact of his teachings on his disciples and the world.

Symbolism and Allegory

Delve into the layers of symbolism and allegory woven throughout the drawing, from the symbolic gesture of Socrates’ hand to the expressions of his followers. Each element carries a deeper meaning, inviting reflection on the nature of wisdom, courage, and the human condition.




Black & White


Living room, Study, Hallway




Drawing, People

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The Death of Socrates - Jacques Louis David (ca. 1786)

The Death of Socrates - Jacques Louis David (ca. 1786)


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