Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Imperial Ambitions

This song seems appropriate for the subject matter I'm dealing with at the moment.

This huge bust of Napoleon is the work of Lorenzo Bartolini, dating back to 1805. It captures him in imperial glory, evoking the Roman style. The neck is longer than it should be for a good reason- this once dominated the entrance of the Louvre (the Musee Napoleon in his day), and people would have to look up at it, and so elongating the neck was a visual requirement.


The Conscripts of 1807 Marching Past Saint-Denis Gate is the title of this oil painting by Louis-Leopold Boilly.


Boilly also painted this, The Galleries Of The Palais-Royal, which depicts an area near the Louvre which was considered a fashionable meeting place. By evening it was a place known for prostitutes to sell their services- the story goes that as a fresh faced lieutenant, Napoleon lost his virginity here.


This oil painting caught my eye- an artist named Bizard painted this in 1802. The Pump On The Cours-la-Reine depicts efforts to supply Paris with water at the time, amid construction projects like the Ourcq Canal.


The Garden of The Museum Of French Monuments, A Former Convent of The Petits-Augustins is the title of this painting by Hubert Robert. A former convent that served as a place of safety for decorative sculptures saved during the worst of the French Revolution, this was dismantled when Napoleon's empire finally fell.


Here are two takes on the same item, with and without an onlooker, which I think actually added to the scene. This is one of the large scale reproductions in the exhibit, the original of which is an 1810 painting by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, titled, Napoleon Signing The Marriage Contract Of Jerome Bonaparte and Catherine of Wurtemberg, August 22, 1807.

26 comments:

  1. At first glance I thought the bust in the first photo was Justin Trudeau.

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  2. A long neck like that does impress a little. But wouldn't it have been easier just to place the bust a bit higher?

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  3. He has a rather long neck indeed, he should have liked that as he was so tiny...

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  4. "The Garden of the Museum of French Moments" may be my favorite title ever! I feel like I am at this museum. Lovely.

    Janis
    GDP

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  5. @Andy: hah!

    @Marleen: I suspect one would have to see where it was originally placed in the Louvre.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Marianne: not quite as tiny as we always think him as!

    @Janis: it is a good name.

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  6. love the clothing in the pics. so stylish! ( ;

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  7. Very dark paintings. Showing hom in a crowd showed power.

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  8. I hate to say it but he's sort of reminding me of a certain President-elect in these paintings.

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  9. They made him look like a Greek athlete or god

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  10. It's a pity that the photos of the paintings are so dark, but the photo of the bust is beautiful.

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  11. @Beth: very much so.

    @Red: that's the problem with oil paintings of the era- they can come across dark when photographed.

    @Sharon: I can see that.

    @Cloudia: quite a difference from images of him in his final years of exile, when he was starting to look like a wreck.

    @Jan: it occurred to me later that I should have used a different setting, given that flash photography was not allowed. I wonder if using the night scenery settings of my camera would have produced a different result.

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  12. The old masters always seem to be dark and mysterious.. in content also 😊

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  13. Fascinating. Napoleon was an interesting character, if a little nuts. I had a great-grandfather on my mother's side who fought for Sweden against Napoleon. He came home talking about blood up to the boot tops and he also had both ears blown off!

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  14. The woman in front of the last piece really gives a sense of scale.

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  15. The bust is beautiful and the paintings interesting. Dark and mysterious indeed.

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  16. @Grace: definitely!

    @Lowell: especially towards the end he must have been off his rocker. But even invading Russia? Not a good idea.

    @Lauren: thanks!

    @RedPat: she did.

    @Bill: thank you!

    @Norma: I can see it, oddly!

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  17. You are well-traveled in Ottawa. I enjoy your visits!!!

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  18. Sharon's comment is interesting and I can see her point. I think the expression on his face is what is reminding me of the orange one. The paintings are so beautiful. Thanks for your comment on my old post about the grave of Napoleon's nephew. I'm thinking about going back to that cemetery now that I have a better camera!

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  19. Yep, definitely some points of connection with our PEOTUS, Sharon. :-)

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  20. Here I thought the neck was to make him taller. I would love to see an exhibit like that.

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  21. I always tried to scrupulously avoid having people in my shots. But I've come to appreciate more what they can add to a scene. I'm glad you've visited this exhibit for us!

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  22. That bust is definitely complimentary.

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  23. @Jennifer: I enjoy making them.

    @Lois: it almost looks like a pout.

    @Revrunner: once seen, it can't be unseen.

    @Mari: I think it's a common visual trick in statues that are set higher than the person looking at it is.

    @Kay: I usually avoid people in shots when possible, but this one worked quite well.

    @Catalyst: yes, it's him in all his glory, but between the two busts, I think I prefer the younger one I showed in the previous post.

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