Napoleon and “The Fainting of Esther”, An imperial gift for the first King of Saxony

from 11/03/2023 to 05/06/2023
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A tapestry woven in the Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, and presented by Napoleon to the first King of Saxony, Friedrich August I is returning to Dresden’s Residenzschloss.

Thought to have been lost for 80 years, the tapestry “The Fainting of Esther”, created in 1791 after a painting by Antoine Coypel was part of a lavish array of gifts presented by Napoleon Bonaparte to the first King of Saxony in 1809.

Napoleon and “The Fainting of Esther”, An imperial gift for the first King of Saxony

The latter owed his royal status to the French Emperor and in that year he travelled to Paris to visit his benefactor. The tapestry was given a prominent place in the dining room of the palace. In 1943, it was moved to Schleinitz Castle near Meissen for safekeeping, but after 1945 its whereabouts were unknown. It resurfaced unexpectedly on the art market in 2020.

Along with a selection of porcelain objects that were also gifts from Napoleon Bonaparte, supplemented by medals and portraits, as well as unique mementos of both French Emperor Napoleon and King Friedrich August I. held in the Dresden Rüstkammer, the tapestry is now on display again for the first time.

Exhibition Site: Residenzschloss, [Dresden Castle], Taschenberg 2, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Opening Hours: daily 10—18, Tuesday closed, Friday 18—20 (Blue Hour)
Admission Fees: normal 14 €, reduced 10,50 €, under 17 free, Groups (10 persons and more) 12,50 €


The Royal Palace

The original location and focal point of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden [Dresden State Art Collections] is the former electoral and royal palace, the Residenzschloss, in the heart of the old city centre. This palace of museums, known affectionately as the “Louvre of Saxony”, not only includes the State Apartments of August the Strong and the Porcelain Cabinet, but also the following museums and exhibitions: Historisches and Neues Grünes Gewölbe, Münzkabinett, Rüstkammer (consisting of the Turkish Chamber, Hall of the Giants, Royal Wardrobe, Concept and Encounter: The World around 1600, On the Way to Electoral Power), and the Kupferstich-Kabinett.

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