Friday, 17 October 2014

‘Napoleon Visits the Plague House at Jaffa,’ by Antoine-Jean Gros

Bonaparte visitant les pestiférés de Jaffa, 1804, oil on canvas, 5320mm × 7200mm, Louvre, Paris

Dictator visits the severely afflicted, affecting Christ-like stature.

This is a huge canvas (17 feet high and 23 feet wide) divided in three, portraying the conquering hero as a cross between Christ and Apollo, visiting his afflicted troops in Egypt stricken with the deadly disease.

In reality, he was leaving Egypt in defeat, having order the patients’/prisoners’ death.

Such is the power of great art that the portrait nonetheless sticks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.