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The Cover
September 6, 2000

The Interior of David's Studio at the Collège des Quatre Nations, Paris 1814

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2000;284(9):1065. doi:10.1001/jama.284.9.1065

His master, the Neoclassicist painter Jacques Louis David, remains one of France's most famous names; his own is barely known. The fame of Léon-Mathieu Cochereau (1793-1817) rests on a single painting. Completed when he was 20 and exhibited at the Salon of 1814, the painting shows him and his fellow students at work in David's studio. Instead of relying on the models of the ancients and painting from plaster casts, as was customary, they work from the live model. The atelier is in effect a laboratory; by means of their own observations—from life—they apply what they have learned in didactic lectures. They are much like students of medicine who, if they are to learn the art of medicine, must observe the live patient.