The exhibition Napoléon: General. Emperor. Legend. explores the best of Napoléonic art and design that together will reveal the imperial style championed by the Emperor during his reign in France.
Brilliant soldier-statesmen and legendary conqueror, Napoléon Bonaparte was one of the Western world¹s most powerful leaders, as well as one of its greatest patrons of the arts. Following his meteoric rise to power, a new age of decorative and fine arts was born that validated his reign.
Napoléon is one of the most compelling figures in all of Western history, states William Rau, the President and owner of M.S. Rau Antiques. During his short time in power he made an indelible impact not only in the political arena, but also in the arts and design. Some of our greatest treasures and finest masterpieces date to the Napoleonic age, all thanks to Napoleon and his quest for glory.
Having gained his position following the tumultuous era of the Revolution, the Emperor commissioned artists, designers and architects as a way to promote and legitimize his reign. The exhibition reveals how Napoléon effectively used art and design to cultivate an image of power. From a monumental masterwork of Napoléon before the Battle of Moscow by Joseph Franque and an original bronze death mask of Napoléon to one-of-a-kind Empire furniture and décor, the exhibition offers an intriguing glimpse in the intimate life and ultimate legacy of the soldier, statesman and ruler.