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|Author: Francois Gerard|
|Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 178x174 cm|
|Origin: France, 1801|
Francois Gerard managed to remain one of the most popular society painters during the fast-changing era in which France moved from Consulate to Empire to the restoration of the monarchy. This portrait of Josephine , wife of Napoleon, First Consul of France, represents a new type of more accessible portrait, lacking in official pomp. The First Lady is seen in relaxed pose, with thoughtful gaze, on the open terrace of the palace at Malmaison as she perhaps takes a rest after a walk.
The park landscape and bunch of flowers on the divan create an atmosphere of sentimental poetry, emphasizing the inner state of the sitter, which was so typical of the Romantic period. Yet the idealisation of the sitter, the static composition built upon a balance of horizontal and vertical lines, and the classicizing style of the dress and hairstyle are very much withing the traditions of Neoclassicism.
|Source of entry: via the State Museum Fund from the collection of the Duke of Leuchtenberg, Petrograd, 1919|
|Exibition: French Art: 19th - 20th centuries|
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