Allegorical Portrait of Napoleon, after Pierre-Paul Prud'hon
41.1 cm x 54.6 cm (16 3/16 in. x 21 1/2 in.)
(Monthières (Somme), 1744 - 1805, Amiens)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase, 2003
One function of the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture was to broadcast a positive image of the monarchy throughout the kingdom. After the overthrow of the king during the French Revolution (1789-1791), the Academy was reformed; its new function was to glorify the Republican government that took the monarchy’s place.
Prud’hon came of age during this revolutionary period and contributed to Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise from general to emperor by mythologizing his victories and celebrating his leadership in paintings and in designs for widely distributed reproductive prints.