Napoleon and His Artists
May 10, 2021 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Napoleon and His Artists – a lecture by Barry Venning
The French painter Girodet, spoke for all those who worked for Napoleon when he said “We were all conscripted, but not all of us wore the uniform”. Bonaparte’s brilliant exploits in the Revolutionary Wars attracted artists from the earliest stages in his career and he made systematic use of art as propaganda to reveal himself as soldier, peacemaker, lawgiver and the possessor of semi-divine imperial power. He was fortunate to have at his command the greatest artists of the era, including Jacques Louis David, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Antonio Canova and the lesser known Charles-Antoine, Baron Gros, who produced some of the most astounding Napoleonic pictures. The lecture concludes by looking at the less flattering images of Napoleon that were produced in Britain and Germany.