Napoleon: Power and Splendor will open at Richmond Museum of Fine Arts in June and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in October

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, February 3 – May 10, 2018
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, June 9 – September 3, 2018
The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, October 26, 2018 – March 3, 2019
François-Pascal-Simon Gerard, Portrait of Napoleon, Emperor of the French, in Ceremonial Robes, 1805. Castle of Fontainebleau-Museum Napoleon I. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY / Gérard Blot.

Step inside the private world of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) for an intimate encounter with the propaganda machine that modernized and legitimized his reign as self-titled Emperor in the wake of the French Revolution. Corsican by birth and French by design, Napoleon was a man of continual reinvention—a minor nobleman and military general whose political ambition inspired his every move. Discover the exquisite works of art that crafted Napoleon’s image and the Imperial Household that supported his audacious rise to power. More than 200 works of art—many of which have never before been exhibited in the United States—reveal the intricacies of the Emperor’s daily life and the range of works commissioned by and for him. This exhibition of international loans includes major masterpieces of painting, an array of sumptuous decorative arts, sculptures, engravings, and more—brought together from the Château de Fontainebleauthe Louvre, the Musée de l’Armée in Paris, and other world-class collections. Projection technology further enhances the spectacle by creating an experience that is innovative, immersive, and visceral.

Bust-Length Portrait of Napoleon in Ceremonial Robes, ca. 1805–14, Workshop of Baron François‐Pascal‐Simon Gérard, oil on canvas. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Ben Weider Collection. Photo MMFA, Christine Guest

Napoleon: Power and Splendor is organized, produced, and circulated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with the participation of Château de Fontainebleau and the exceptional support of Mobilier national de France. The exhibition program at VMFA is supported by the Julia Louise Reynolds Fund.

The exhibition is curated by Sylvain Cordier, Curator of Early Decorative Arts, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Napoleon, Power and Splendor François Gérard, Portrait de Louise-Antoinette-Scholastique de Guénéheuc-Lannes, duchesse de Montebello, entourée de ses enfants, 1814, oil on canvas. Houston, Museum of Fine Arts