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সোমবার, ১১ অক্টোবর ২০২১, ০৮:৩৬ অপরাহ্ন

Napoleon Crossing the Alps

Dr. Reza Kibria :: This is a selection of great paintings that are intended to introduce readers to great works of art, primarily of the Western world. The choices are of course very subjective and reflect personal preferences and an assessment of their overall significance. Great paintings have a powerful psychological and emotional impact that can only be fully experienced when seeing the actual works, However this selection may encourage some fortunate readers to visit the museums housing these great works.

Napoleon Crossing the Alps”, Jacques-Louis David, 1801, oil on canvas, 272×230 cm, Versailles Palace, Paris.

Jacque-Louis David (1748-1825) used art as a potent force for political propaganda and glorification. He was a strong supporter of the French Revolution and then an equally devoted admirer of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. This work represents Napoleon’s dramatic march across the Alps to conquer Northern Italy and the heroic depiction of the scene was directed by Napoleon himself. The actual crossing on the narrow mountain paths was somewhat less grand, taking place in fine weather and on sure-footed mules rather than horses. Napoleon refused to sit for the painting, insisting that the painting reflect his character rather than his physical appearance. There are five different versions of the painting, with considerable differences in coloring, but the version shown here is the best known (First Versailles version).

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