What do the the curtains blowing in the wind represent in the David's The Oath of the Tennis Court?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I had to edit the original question, but I encourage you to repost the additional questions.  David's work represents one of the first official acts of the French Revolution.  The work is meant to be a testament to the unity and solidarity that defined the initial phases of the French Revolution. The Tennis Court Oath became one of those crystallizing moments whereby change could be felt because of the immense groundswell for it.  David's portrait brings this out in several elements.  One such element is the curtains that are blowing above the oath being taken.  They can be seen as the "winds of change," an example of how David saw the Revolution as more than action of merely men.  Rather, he saw the Revolution as something divinely inspired, almost as if the powers of divinity were sanctioning this to happen.  In the curtains blowing, one gets the impression that other worldly forces are giving their affirmation to the Tennis Court Oath and the demands for change out of it.  The commitment that David captures in terms of the solidarity featured and the commitment for a new Constitution regardless of cost is where David's inclusion of the curtains blowing help to give an element of apotheosis to this moment.

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