Tag Archives: Prado

Miscellany Paris The Man

Finding Napoleon Bonaparte in Madrid – Part 2

Portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte by Ingres

Prado Museum, Madrid, 2016, photo by Margaret Rodenberg

 

As I explained in my last post, in general, the Spanish aren’t fans of Napoleon Bonaparte. In fact, I didn’t find a single portrait of Napoleon in the Prado Museum’s huge collection. The Prado was, however, hosting a travelling exhibition of works by the French painter Ingres (1780-1867). There to my delight I found two.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres studied in Paris under Jacques-Louis David whose paintings have been featured in a number of my posts. In 1803, Ingres was one of five artists commissioned to do full-length portraits of thirty-four-year-old Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul. That painting (seen below) was given to the city of Liège where it usually hangs in the Curtius Museum.

 

Napoleon Bonaparte, First Council by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

 

The Emperor on his Imperial Throne was the second Napoleon portrait in the Ingres exhibit. Over the years, this stiff, stylized painting has hung in the Louvre and Les Invalides. It now resides in the Musée de L’Armée. One look at Napoleon’s pale, puffy face explains why the critics (and probably Napoleon himself) hated it. Of course, I was excited to see it in Madrid. Two hundred years later, the man’s still ubiquitous even in hostile territory.

 

The Emperor Napoleon on his Imperial Throne by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

 

 

Copyright © 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Margaret Rodenberg