Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: La Vita Artistica al Tempo dei Bonaparte

from 12/03/2019 to 23/06/2019
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The exhibition “Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and the artistic life at the time of Napoleon” takes place at the Palazzo Reale, Milan, supported by the City of Milan and produced by Palazzo Reale and Civita Mostre e Musei, in collaboration with StArt and the Museo Ingres of Montauban.

It is curated by Florence Viguier-Dutheil, Chief Conservator of Heritage and Director of the Musée Ingres of Montauban, supported by a Committee of Experts composed of Adrien Goetz, member of the Institut de France – Académie des Beaux-Arts, Stéphane Guégan, art historian, Frédéric Lacaille, Conservator of the Musée national du Château de Versailles, Isabella Marelli, Curator of the Pinacoteca di Brera and Gennaro Toscano, University professor and scientific and cultural consultant at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Richelieu.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: La Vita Artistica al Tempo dei Bonaparte
Napoleon I on his Imperial Throne, Ingres, 1806, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

The exhibition includes more than 150 works, of which more than 60 are paintings and drawings by the great French master, Ingres, brought together through international loans – of which a large number have been made by the Musée Ingres of Montauban, which is currently closed due to renovation work – as well as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Musée du Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Petit Palais, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, the Musée de l’Armée and from major Italian museums such as the Pinacoteca di Brera, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano, the Musei Civici di Brescia and private collections.

According to Florence Viguier-Dutheil and Stéphane Guégan “This exhibition aims to overcome a widespread and increasingly negative vision of “neoclassicism”, a term evoking the spectre of pastiche and servile imitation – which does not do justice to an artistic movement that in many ways laid the foundations of our modernity”.

The exhibition is organised in sections:

The first part highlights the invention of the new figurative language that emerged between the Ancien Regime and the French Revolution (led by Jacques-Louis David and his students) exemplified by virile bodies and great energy. But the “new man” that these paintings are intended to represent is also expressed through the evolution of the portrait genre.

Napoleon and the Italian Campaign and are the protagonists of the following sections, with some famous portraits including those of Appiani. Also works by Greuze, Canova, Gerard, Finelli, with some drawings by Ingres.

One room is reserved for the figure of Giovanni Battista Sommariva, starting with his portrait painted by Pierre Paul Prud’hon and Canova’s Penitent Magdalene. The exhibition thus leads to the solemn and magnificent portrait of Napoleon in coronation regalia, preceded by a series of preparatory drawings by Ingres.

In the final section, the exhibition takes on a monographic character and is largely made up of works by Ingres from the Museum of Montauban, starting with a series of extraordinary male portraits, followed by drawings and then female portraits, of Venus and Odalisques, as well as a painting of 1818 representing the death of Leonardo da Vinci, all the more significant in the year in which his fifth centenary is celebrated.

An exhibition catalogue (in Italian) is published by Marsilio Editori.

Video (in Italian and French)

Check out some more images in this article in Italian or this.

Opening hours

Mon: 14:30 – 19:30
Tue: 09:30 – 19:30
Wed: 09:30 – 19:30
Thur: 09:30 – 22:30
Fri: 09:30 – 19:30
Sat: 09:30 – 22:30
Sun: 09:30 – 19:30


Palazzo Reale

Piazza del Duomo, 12 
20100 Milan 

Phone number
0039 02875672


(audioguide included / pre-sale excluded)

Full price € 14
Reduced € 12
Members of Museums Lombardy € 10
Special discount price € 6
Family ticket: 1 or 2 adults € 10 / children from 6 to 14 years € 6

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