General. Emperor. Legend.


These three words encapsulate the life, times, and reign of the powerful French leader Napoléon Bonaparte. Though he is best known for his military exploits, Napoléon was also a great patron and connoisseur of the arts, ushering in a new age of decorative and fine arts.

Although his love and adoration for art led to massive illegal appropriation on the part of the French, Napoléon Bonaparte was also a great patron of the arts in his home country, commissioning artists, designers, and architects as a method for promoting his claim to the throne.

A stunning array of objects from Napoléon’s reign are the subjects of an extraordinary exhibition in New Orleans at M.S. Rau Antiques. Opening November 5 and running through January 7, “Napoléon: General. Emperor. Legend” is a beautiful journey into art as political propaganda. Via the event webpage, “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 into the intimate life and ultimate legacy of the soldier, statesman and ruler.”

To learn more, visit M.S. Rau Antiques.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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