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Napoléonic influence on art, design examined in New Orleans

Napoléon Bonaparte's wide-spread influence on art and design is the focus of a new exhibition opening Nov. 5 at MS Rau Antiques
Napoléon Bonaparte bust

Bronze bust of Napoléon Bonaparte as First Consul. (All photos courtesy of M.S. Rau Antiques

NEW ORLEANS — M.S. Rau Antiques is hosting a comprehensive exhibition "Napoléon: General. Emperor. Legend".

The exhibition will be displayed at the firm's New Orleans’ gallery, 630 Royal Street, New Orleans. The opening is slated for November 5, 2016 and will be on display through January 7, 2017. The exhibition is open and free to the public and explores the best of Napoléonic art and design. The examination will reveal the imperial style championed by the Emperor during his reign in France.

Soldier-statesmen and legendary conqueror, Napoléon Bonaparte was one of the Western world’s most powerful leaders. Not to mention a significant patron of the arts. Following his rise to power, a new age of decorative and fine arts was born that validated his reign.

“Napoléon is one of the most compelling figures in all of Western history,” states William Rau, the President and owner of M.S. Rau Antiques. “During his short time in power he made an indelible impact not only in the political arena, but also in the arts and design. Some of our greatest treasures and finest masterpieces date to the Napoleonic age, all thanks to Napoleon and his quest for glory.”

Exhaustive Influence

Having gained his position following the tumultuous era of the Revolution, the Emperor commissioned artists, designers and architects as a way to promote and legitimize his reign. The exhibition reveals how Napoléon effectively used art and design to cultivate an image of power. 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 in the intimate life and ultimate legacy of the soldier, statesman and ruler.

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