Bonaparte Crosses the Berkshires this Summer

For Immediate Release

May 01, 2005

Summer visitors to the Berkshires will have an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the famous painting Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, and other paintings rarely seen in the U.S. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will present Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile, the first major exhibition in the U.S. to focus exclusively on David, first painter to Napoleon, in decades. The exhibition, on view from June 5 to September 5, will explore the transformation of David's art following the French Revolution. The exhibition was hailed as "magnificent" by the L.A. Times when it opened at the Getty Museum this spring. The Clark is the only East Coast venue for the show.

Empire to Exile is just one of the special exhibitions and programs planned as the Clark celebrates 50 years of art in nature during 2005-2006.

David was the most celebrated painter of his era and the leader of the Neoclassicist movement, which influenced Western art for generations. Empire to Exile will feature 26 paintings and 22 works on paper, of which eight paintings and 11 works on paper have never before been exhibited in this country. The exhibition will unite major works drawn from private collections and leading institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Fogg Art Museum, the Louvre, The National Gallery, the State Hermitage Museum, and the Chateau of Versailles.

The monumental Bonaparte Crossing the Alps (1800-1801) is one of the most widely recognized works of Western art. Other widely recognizable paintings include Cupid and Psyche (1817) and Count Henri-Amédé de Turenne , (1816) among many others.

The Clark's exceptional collections of Old Master, Impressionist, and 19th-century American art on display in the museum's intimate galleries are enhanced by the beauty of its setting in the Berkshires. The Clark is surrounding by 140 acres of expansive lawns, meadows, and walking trails. Views from the galleries include the surrounding woods and fields, adjacent farm pastures, and a nearby pond. Walking trails wind through the property, including trails up historic Stone Hill, which offers a spectacular view of Williamstown and the Green Mountains of Vermont to the north.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located on South Street, one-half mile south of the junction of routes 2 and 7 in the center of Williamstown, Massachusetts. The Clark is about three hours by car from Boston and New York City and about one hour from Lenox, Massachusetts, and Albany, New York. The Mohawk Trail (Route 2) provides scenic approaches from the east and west. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


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