Monday, 3 August 2009

Bernadotte bicentenary exhibition

As I wrote about in April, there will be many events to celebrate the Bernadottes’ 200 years in Sweden next year, among them an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Stockholm. The exhibition is entitled “Härskarkonst”, which may be translated both as “Art of Ruling” and “Rulers’ Art”.
It will deal with King Carl XIV Johan of Sweden and Norway, Emperor Napoléon I of the French and Emperor Aleksandr I of Russia and include some 400 works by Jacques-Louis David, François Gérard and other masters. Among the themes covered are “Visual manifestations of power”, “Great politics and dynastic family ties” and “Art collecting”, according to the museum’s website:
The exhibition will open at the National Museum in the autumn of 2010 and be shown until January 2011. From Stockholm it will continue to the Hermitage in St Petersburg. Shortly after the exhibition leaves the Swedish capital, the National Museum of Fine Arts will close down for renovation and be closed for an almost incomprehensible seven (!) years.
The picture shows a detail of David’s painting of the ceremony in 1804 when the newly proclaimed Emperor Napoléon presented the imperial eagles to his army. Carl Johan, or Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte as he then was, turns away. The painting hangs at Versailles Palace.

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