Napoleon: Power and Splendor

26 October 2018–10 March 2019

Exhibition Overview


Baron François-Pascal-Simon Gérard, detail of Napoleon in state attire, 1805. Oil on canvas, 240 x 155 cm.

Napoleon: Power and Splendor marks the first exploration of the majesty and the artistic, political and ideological significance of Napoleon’s imperial court from Napoleon’s self-appointment as First Consul in 1799 to his abdication in 1814. The Imperial Household was a key institution during Napoleon’s reign. It was responsible for the daily lives of the Imperial family and the day-to-day existence of former general Bonaparte, who became Emperor Napoleon.

The exhibition aims to re-create the ambiance and capture the spirit that prevailed in the French court during the Empire. A selection of works, most of which have never before been exhibited in North America, will reveal the power and splendor of the Imperial Household and its role in fashioning a monarchic identity for the new emperor, his family and loyal entourage.

(Photo courtesy of © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY.)

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