Ingres and Napoleone: Art at the Time of the Empire

Ingres and Napoleone: Art at the Time of the Empire
#Exhibitions

The stars of the present represented as classic heroes, ideal beauty, dreams, the bizarre, eroticism and the macabre, the rise of women in painting - through-lines under the polished surface of what we generally refer to as Neoclassicism, highlighting implicit tensions and dualism. The revolution of taste which came to Italy along with Napoleon is revealed at the Palazzo Reale in an itinerary of over 150 works, ranging from nostalgia for antiquity to the unrest of modernity. Beyond the “French-ification” of conquered lands and confiscated masterpieces, Napoleon’s conquest coincided with a rich moment in the history of Italian art. Among its most illustrious figures was Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, who spent a great deal of time in Italy, above all, to study the works of his idol, Raphael, as well as working on the Imperial building sites in Rome and directing the prestigious French Academy at Villa Medici. From exoticism to the sinuous odalisques to the solemn Napoleon in Sacred Garb, up to the romantic touches of the Dream of Ossian, Milan hosts the icon of a great age, in which art, politics a new sort of patronage intertwined inextricably. More than 60 paintings and drawings by Ingres are nourished by comparisons with other greats of the time - Antonio Canova, Jean-Louis David, Andrea Appiani, Anne-Louis de Girodet, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun and many others - in a project which came together thanks to loans from some of the most important museums in the world, from the Louvre to the Metropolitan Museum of New York, from the Victoria and Albert Museum to the Musée Ingres of Montauban, as well as the Pinacoteca di Brera, whose own history is linked with the Napoleon occupation.
Francesca Grego - © 2019 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano