During the near-twenty-year span of his reign, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), more than any other historical figure, revolutionised the political, social and cultural landscape of Europe and wrought changes that can be felt to this day – both positively and negatively. The Art and Exhibition Hall has been able to secure outstanding loans from all over Europe in order to draw a comprehensive picture of Napoleon and his time. Painting and sculpture reached new heights of excellence in the Napoleonic era – both in the propaganda paintings by David, Gérard and Ingres and in the work of those who opposed the French emperor, among them Goya and the German romanticists. Under Napoleon’s aegis the Louvre was opened as the first ‘modern’ museum of fine arts. The exhibition will also shed light on the large-scale plundering of art collections in the countries occupied by Napoleon.
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