Versailles’ gallery of paintings from the French Revolution and the First Empire

January 14, 2013 § 1 Comment

Today I went to Versailles with my class.

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Statue of Louis XIV

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Place des Armes

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A gallery of statues and busts of the imperial family and Napoleon’s generals

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Part of the Palace and the gardens in the background.

We had a guided tour of a part of Versailles Palace that’s closed to the public. It is actually a part of the Museum for French History as king Louis-Philippe had it designed. The furniture is authentic and the paintings have not been moved. Here are a few of these paintings.

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Napoleon and Josephine’s coronation

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Napoleon crowning Josephine

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Murat at the Battle of Abukir. Up until then, only Napoleon could be pictured as a center character in a war painting. Murat, as Marshal of France and brother-in-law of Napoleon, was the first to receive that honor.

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Napoleon and Josephine

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Napoleon’s second wife, Marie-Louise of Austria

Then we were led to the upper floor where they keep very interesting paintings including these two unfinished work that enable us to see the very different methods of painting employed by the two masters of the time : David and his student Gros.

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Preliminary work by David on the Serment du Jeu de Paume

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He drew the characters naked and with a lot of details, and then painted over them

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Whereas Gros starts directly with paint and gives it shape progressively, eventually getting to a result just as realistic as David’s work

And finally, here’s a statue of Napoleon on his final days in exile. It was sculpted much later, in the 1860’s.

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