David, Napoleon in His Study
The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries is an 1812 painting done by Jacques-Louis David. It is not just a normal painting but it is vertical in format, plus displays Napoleon standing, three-quarters life size, dressed in the uniform of a colonel of the Imperial Guard Foot Grenadiers that showed of this blue with white facings and flashy red cuffs. Napoleon also wears his Legion d'honneur and Order of the Iron Crown features, alongside with gold epaulettes, white stockings and French-style culottes. Also, his face is rotated towards the spectator and his right hand placed inside his jacket. However, it is undoubtedly a portrait that is a political vacuum following the French Revolution. However, in this essay, this portrait of Napoleon will compared to Madame Bergeret by Boucher and then the difference between the portrayal of men and women will be discussed.
When it comes to the portrait of Napoleon it is different from Madame Bergeret by Boucher because The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries 1812 shows a backdrop of captured in statesman-like quietude instead of a more glorious episode in his storied vocation. Although it is clear that the posed attitude and the picture's full-length format show formality, the portrait's place and time -- inside the emperor's private study, in the early hours of the morning -- show more of an intimate view of this extreme public figure. In Madame Bergeret by Boucher, the backdrop shows a background of nature and a much less important political figure and the background shows that with the light colors. Unlike, Madame Bergeret, The Emperor Napoleon in His Study, shows the lush fabrics, textures, clear colors, and enamel-like surfaces of the painting which happen to create an effect that is vivid and convincing.
When it comes to the landscape of the painting there was none because the painting depicts him inside and not out. However, the genre scene can be depicted. In this portrait it shows Napoleon who obviously took up residence in the Tuileries Palace in Paris after employing himself as the Emperor in 1804 which is exactly the same year wherein this picture is set. Cautious particulars -- the clock at 4:13, the lamp's closely spent candle, not to mention the early morning light which is seen seeping into the chamber at the left -- point out that the Emperor is burning the nighttime oil. He clutches a snuff box colored in gold -- whose matters would have assisted him in staying awake. It is clear that the ruler's hair is rumpled, stockings bagging slightly around Napoleon's ankles. Just the opposite with Madame Bergeret because her hair is painted white which was probably blond and then pulled back,
Sitting on the desk is the merchandise of the emperor's all-nighter, feather pen now set separately -- a sheaf of papers showing the letters "COD." Also, this is the Code Napoleon or French Civil Code. Sanctioned in 1804, it outdated a hotchpotch of church and noble decrees that had until that time governed day-to-day life, replacing them with a male-controlled system of personal rights. The code still notifies French law these days (David).
Other details in regards to The Emperor Napoleon in His Study are tangible symbols of Napoleon's tough decree. On the floor, a map partly unrolled, sword propped in the chair, and lion finial of the desk which basically shows him as a conqueror, ready for battle. Madame Bergeret shows the opposite. Her colors are strong at but are very serene and feminine. They do not show anything of being in command. However, with The Emperor Napoleon in His Study it shows exactly that and the colors portray that as well. The blue attire with red cuffs is that of the foot grenadiers of what was then called the Imperial Guard; Napoleon preferred to wear soldier's garb on certain dress occasions to indicate unity with his troops (The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries). Under the desk, shows the Plutarch's volume Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans connects Napoleon with the distinguished leaders of the past....
The color of Embellished golden bees stitched into his velvet purple looking chair are a fifth-century symbol related with the first French monarchs. Also of what can be observed is the letter "N" which is carved right into the legs of the small table. This craftily contrived yet accurate tableau exposes itself to be a masterful work of advertising.
However, when it comes to Madame Bergeret by Francois Boucher, which was painted sometime in 1766, there are some differences and similarities. It is an example of a portrait painting which shows the skill of oil on painting, 144 x 105 cm. Napoleon in His Study was a painting that was much bigger and had more detail in the background. In other words there was much more scenery. The research shows that Madame Bergeret portrait, ranked 2nd most prestigious genre by the French Academia de picture et de sculpture, which just like Napoleon in His Study depicts the visual appearance of a human subject. Although portraitists often strive for exact likeness, the viewer's recognition of the subject is of primary importance. Such as in Madame Bergeret it was common for artists to change the image to emphasize or minimize the subject's physical, mental or social traits. By tradition, portrait such as Madame Bergeret and The Emperor Napoleon in His Study both are considered paintings which have memorialized the rich and influential. After a while, however, it turn out to be more typical for middle-class individuals to commission portraits of their colleagues and families.
It appears that The Emperor Napoleon in His Study is from the neoclassical era and Madame Bergeret is from the Borocco time period. Derived from the French word rocaille (meaning "rock-work") and Italian Borocco ("Baroque"), Rococo was an extremely decorated and flamboyant style popular in 18th-century Europe, particularly in France. Just like Madame Bergeret painting they are characterized by sinuous curves, pastel colors, and asymmetrical patterns founded on flowers, corals, vines, and seashells (Madame Bergeret). Responding in contradiction of the Baroque style, Rococo painting such as Madame Bergeret favored a more close idyllic pastoral imagery, mythological scenes, and lighthearted representations of pleasure-seeking. Even though rejected by the Neoclassicists, the style enjoyed eras of rehabilitated interest, for instance all through Rococo Revival in the mid-19th century.
As mentioned earlier, The Emperor Napoleon in His Study shows the neoclassical period. Neoclassicism, one of the foremost art movements, started around the middle of the 18th century and went on until the initially part of the 19th century (Bordes). Painters at that time supposed that women and men continuously in the public eye should look criticized and unemotional in paintings (David's The Emperor Napoleon In His Study). In the painting by Louis David, Napoleon was meant to be seen as a military leader and, emperor both of which were very severe roles continuously keeping him within the public interest. Napoleons face expressions no feeling at all and his eyes appear as though they have no life in them. The background, the study, appears to be very bland. Also, the lines and colors utilized in the painting are artless. These essentials together signify the morality and worthy nature of the time era, and can be seen as subject in most paintings all through the Neoclassic crusade
Going back to Madame Bergeret which is completely opposite from the neoclassical period because here is Madame Bergeret in the ultimate rococo conceit -- a robe de cour fashioned as a pastoralist shepherdess type of fantasy, with wearing theses set of full sleeves that nod to a shepherdesses bare chemise outer cover, a pale blue ribbon that foretells later 18th century era, not to mention a lacy neck frill, multi-strand pearl portrait anklet, and, to finish out the comfortable milkmaid appearance, a bergere (plainly 'shepherdess') hat. Also, the hat could just be a fashionable decoration to highlight the sophisticated pastoral look, but then again it could also be an amusing play on Marguerite Bergeret's name, bringing in a little scholarly embellishment to the visual explanations of the painting.
It appears that the painter was trying to send a lot of messages through the portrait, such as Jacques-Louis David tried to show Napoleon as this strong sophisticated leader, Boucher did something a little different trying to show off a period that was more fantasy like. It appears that the whole painting is the essence of mid-18th century rococo portraiture; tolerant and escapist which it what the painter was obviously trying to express. From the way the colors are shown on her attire, it is a good possibility that he was trying show that it is a little too precious or maybe too fanatical. It appear that the painter may also have the observer walk away with mixed emotions with a lot of questions in their mind such as does it say "I have a sense of humor and good taste…
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