Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge

Sie sind hier: Startseite / Forschung / Projekte / Projekte der Fellows / Camille Mathieu // Representing Napoleonic Rome: Circulation, Excavation, and the Paradox of Empire (1796-1817)

Camille Mathieu // Representing Napoleonic Rome: Circulation, Excavation, and the Paradox of Empire (1796-1817)

This book project addresses the impact of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars on the Nachleben of Antique art in the contemporary production of French academic art.  It further investigates the ways in which the Napoleonic seizures of artworks, particularly those Antique sculptures taken from Italy, serve as evidence of -- and provided a theorectical justification for-- a particular model of empire imagined by the French in a period during which they began divest themselves of their colonies.

Before the French Revolution, Greco-Roman three-dimensional sculpture, histories, and mythologies had been at the center of the visual and narrative concerns around which young academic painters, sculptors, and architects were meant to base their artistic output.
During the Directory and Napoleonic periods (1795-1815), famous Antique sculptures looted from outlying regions of the French Empire in Northern Italy, the Papal States, and the Low Countries were sent to Paris and then circulated back again, restituted in 1816 as extra-French  cultural patrimony after the fall of the Empire. An ‘emptied’ Rome, therefore,  was a problem uniquely encountered by artists of the Napoleonic period; Frenchmen who had won the Rome Prize were for the first time sent to emulate Antique sculpture in a city newly plundered of its best examples by their own government. This book looks at the results of this 'absence' of sculpture in Roman museums, arguing that young French history painters were driven to seek creative stimulation elsewhere, specifically in the in-situ monumental architecture of Rome and in its local inhabitants. The role played by the Napoleonic justification of Antique art plundering as the rightful appropriation of a Greco-Roman heritage in the move of History Painting towards genre will also be examined.