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Napoleon: The Immortal Emperor by Gerard…

Napoleon: The Immortal Emperor

by Gerard Gengembre

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865652333, Hardcover)

This lavishly illustrated book retraces the meteoric career of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), the "little Corsican" who rose from the ashes of the ancien régime to become the most charismatic and powerful European leader since Alexander the Great. Accompanied by paintings, drawings, engravings, caricatures, sculpture, film stills, posters, and other examples of Napoleonic iconography, the text tells the story of the leader's life, his myth, and his enduring fame over two centuries.

An inspired master of propaganda, Bonaparte was acutely aware of his image at every stage of his progress, from the lean man of action painted by Gros in the 1790s through Ingres's Zeus-like sovereign of 1806, to the tragic, fallen hero apotheosized in stone by Rude. Later depictions of Napoleon cast him as Romantic hero and unsurpassed military strategist but also as Corsican despot and anti-Christ. In addition to work by artists ranging from the court painter David to Larry Rivers in our own time, the book presents clothing, jewels, furniture, porcelain, and silver from Malmaison and other Napoleonic residences, each a paradigm of Empire elegance. All ?nd a place in a book whose fascinating combination of history, biography, and the arts is sure to ?nd a wide audience.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:31 -0400)

"Astre ou desastre - brilliant star or utter disaster, liberator or dictator, divine savior or parvenue opportunist - such is the dichotomy that lies at the heart of the enduring appeal of the Napoleonic legend. Always alert to the power of myth, Bonaparte made sure that he projected the right image at every stage of his astounding career, from the thin-faced, long-haired young man of action painted by Gros in the 1790s through David's new Hannibal crossing the Alps on horseback (1800) to the Zeus-like emperor portrayed by Ingres in 1806. Even in death, the fallen idol inspired the great sculptor Francois Rude to apotheosize him as a tragic hero, his head wreathed in laurel." "More than 300 illustrations reveal the profound effect Napoleon's legacy has left on the world. This copiously illustrated volume includes rare and previously unknown art and ephemera featuring the likeness of the great leader, including many portraits, chateaux and palaces, battlescapes and scenes of grandiose ceremony as well as reproductions of clothing, jewels, furniture, porcelain, and silver, each a paradigm of Empire elegance. And the fascination with Napoleon continues today. He is frequently examined in film, a medium in which the Emperor has been portrayed by the greatest actors, among them Albert Dieudonne, Charles Boyer, and Marlon Brando. No wonder, given that Napoleon was an ardent, serial lover of beautiful, aristocratic women, all the while consistent in his bittersweet devotion to Josephine de Beauharnais, the wife he divorced for the sake of an heir she could not produce."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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