Art in the Service of Power: Napoleon I and Napoleon III

from 13/04/2018 to 09/07/2018
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French title: L’art au service du pouvoir – Napoléon I – Napoléon III

L’Atelier Grognard, located 100 metres from the Château de Malmaison, is hosting an exhibition created in partnership between the town of Rueil-Malmaison, the Mobilier National and the Fondation Napoléon, with the participation of the Château de Malmaison, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Hébert, the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, the Musée des Avelines, the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, and private collections, on the political use of art by the two French Emperors.

Art in the Service of Power: Napoleon I and Napoleon III

After the chaos of the French Revolution, Napoleon I transformed the Republic into an Empire and proposed a new image of power where the legacy of the Ancien Régime was combined with innovations.

In order to leave its mark on the period, the Empire style was imposed on dozens of palaces in France and abroad. The arts were employed in the service of Imperial greatness. All the Parisian workshops were set to work to Napoleon’s glory, with the participation of talented artists such as David, Gros, Ingres, Canova, Girodet…

Napoleon III continued in the same vein as that of his uncle, with a sustained artistic policy. The decor of the Second Empire was sumptuous. The arts benefitted from technical progress that promoted the reproduction and dissemination of works chosen by the sovereign, those of an official art supported by qualified institutions: the Académie and the Ecole des Beaux-arts, the Salons and as well as museums.

In presenting prestigious works commissioned by both the French Emperors’ Houses, the mainstays of Imperial communication, the exhibition “Art in the Service of Power: Napoleon I and Napoleon III” proposes an original approach that allows us not only to re-interpret the extraordinary career of these two Emperors, but also to revisit 19th-century French art. With loans from the Musée d’Orsay, the Château de Malmaison, the Palais de Compiègne and the Mobilier National, this exhibition was made possible thanks to the partnership of the Fondation Napoléon, which made a large number of works from its collection available. Eminent historians, specialists of the periods concerned, have also made their contribution: curators Pierre Branda, Xavier Mauduit et Elodie Lefort, supported by David Chanteranne and Amaury Lefébure in an advisory role.


Access: 6, avenue du Château de Malmaison 92500 Rueil-Malmaison France.

By RER A from the centre of Paris, get off at Rueil-Malmaison station, take bus no. 27 (every 30 minutes) direction “La celle-Saint-Cloud SNCF” and stop at “Le Château”.
From La Défense or  Nanterre take bus n°258 (every 10 minutes) direction “La Jonchère” and stop at “Le Château”.
From Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Le Pecq, Port-Marly or Bougival, take bus n°259 direction “Nanterre” and stop at “Le Château”.

Contact :
Telephone: 01 47 14 11 63
e-mail :

Every day except Tuesday from 1.30 to 6pm.

Full price: 6 €
Reduced rate: 4 €

In partnership with the Château de la Malmaison, visitors to the exhibition “L’Art au Service Du Pouvoir” are entitled to reduced priced entrance ticket to the Château de la Malmaison, and vice versa.

Tel: 01 47 14 11 63
Web :

Guided tours: Adults: from 13 €.

Joint tickets with a guided tour of the Chateau de Malmaison: 27 € (duration 3h).


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