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DAVID & NAPOLEON GRAND FORMATS CONSULATE & EMPIRE ANTIQUITY REVISITED DRAWINGS PORTRAITS IN EXILE
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The portraits David painted during Napoleon's service as Consul and later during the Empire were extremely expensive, and only the wealthiest members of French society could afford to commission likenesses from him. David had little interest in painting the nouveaux riches who had made their fortunes during the Revolution. Instead, he chose the richest patrons and members of his immediate circle of family and friends to sit for him. Like his earlier portraits, these works usually depict the sitters placed simply against a neutral background, allowing the facial features and the clothing, rather than narrative details, to convey an impression of the individual's character and personality.
© 2005 Sterling and Francine
Clark Art Institute


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