I finally managed to get myself to this magnificent exhibition last night. With la petite Rosbifs at their grandmother's for the last few days of the school holidays, Madame Rosbif and I went to the National Gallery of Victoria here in Melbourne for a bit of a date night and to absorb some French culture and history.
It certainly didn't disappoint! It covers the period from the last days of the Ancien Regime to Napoleon's exile to and death in St Helelna, with each period illustrated by paintings, etchings, period artefacts and video installations. Each room is devoted to one particular period such as the Revolution, Directory, Egypt campaign, Consulate etc, etc. with a wealth of objects and images illustrating each.
Obviously my favourites were the last couple of rooms which covered the Empire period from his coronation to his downfall. It holds a wealth of items from uniforms and weapons belonging to such luminaries Ney, Davout and Massena, to jewellery belonging to Joshephine, Hortense and Marie-Louise, Napoleon's travelling toiletries kit, Eugene's diamond encrusted signet ring etc. etc.
|The chap on the right was included in the exhibition. Image from Musee de l'Emperi (Salon-de-Provence)|
|Murat in all his tight pants glory! Painting by Gerard|
If you're a Napoleonic buff here in Australia, or can afford a trip here, you can't miss this amazing collection of paintings and artefacts here all under the one roof at the same time. Come and see it while you can
Below: Two short films from the exhibition website presented by the curator of Versaille