Napoleon on Horseback
This sculpture shows Napoleon on horseback, dressed in his military uniform and signature bicorne (two-cornered) hat. The use of the equestrian format here echoes a visual tradition for portraying rulers dating back to antiquity. Rather than creating a grandiose imperial image, however, Barye portrays Napoleon in his guise as citizen-soldier.
Barye, best known for his animal sculptures, was born at the height of the French Revolution and served in the French Army toward the end of the Napoleonic era. He received two government commissions for posthumous equestrian monuments of the emperor that he made in the 1860s during the rule of Napoleon's nephew, Napoleon III, who sought to revive his uncle's imperial image and legacy.
18 x 13 3/4 x 5 1/4 in. (45.7 x 34.9 x 13.3 cm) (show scale)
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Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795-1875). Napoleon on Horseback. Bronze, 18 x 13 3/4 x 5 1/4 in. (45.7 x 34.9 x 13.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by Special Subscription, 10.199. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 10.199_PS11.jpg)
overall, 10.199_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2019
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