Skip Navigation

Napoleon on Horseback

Antoine-Louis Barye

European Art

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.
MEDIUM Bronze
  • Place Made: France
  • DIMENSIONS 18 x 13 3/4 x 5 1/4 in. (45.7 x 34.9 x 13.3 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 10.199
    CREDIT LINE Purchased by Special Subscription
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION 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)
    IMAGE overall, 10.199_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2019
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
    Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795-1875). <em>Napoleon on Horseback</em>. 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)