Shown here is David's painting of Jean-Paul Marat, depicting him specifically at the moment of his death. During the French Revolution, Marat was an extremely outspoken political voice, urging the French people on to violent revolution. In July of 1793, a young woman from the opposing movement gained an audience with Marat in his home. Her name was Charlotte Corday and she ended up stabbing Marat while he was in his bathtub, a place of refuge for him due to his persistent skin disease. Her actions were motivated by the thought that she would prevent the civil war that Marat was encouraging by silencing him forever. However, she only ignited his followers to further radicalism and the revolution proceeded in its increasingly bloody nature.
David's depiction of Marat is poetic and sympathetic, clearly a positive piece of artistic propaganda for the revolution. He is depicted as a martyr, an attempt to lend an almost religious fanaticism to the cause.