The Assassination of Marat
Jean-Paul Marat, a key figure in the French Revolution, started to adopt an extremist stance from 1789 onwards. Through the mouthpiece of his newspaper L'ami du peuple (The People's Friend), he called for the establishment of a dictatorship to complete the work of the Revolution. Elected as a member of the Convention of'92, he launched a violent attack on the Girondins, encouraged the Terror and aroused the hatred of many, including Charlotte Corday who murdered him as he was taking his habitual bath to ease the effects of a chronic skin disease, on July 13, 1793.
For the revolutionaries, he was a hero and that is how David painted him in the very year of his death.
Under the Second Empire, Paul Baudry was inspired to paint an entirely different view of the subject, making Charlotte Corday the heroine who rid France of a tyrant.
Finally, in 1880, with the Republic in place once more, Jean-Joseph Weerts again portrayed Marat as a Christ-like hero and Charlotte Corday as simply a murderer.