Museums and Art

Napoleon on the pass of Saint-Bernard, Jacques-Louis David - description of the painting

Napoleon on the pass of Saint-Bernard, Jacques-Louis David - description of the painting

Napoleon at the St. Bernard Pass - Jacques-Louis David. 2.60 mx 2.21 m

In 1795, David met for the first time with Napoleon. This meeting will undoubtedly leave a big imprint on the fate of the artist - Napoleon will soon appoint him the main painter of the imperial court, and he will become the heroes of many works of David. The most famous of them is the equestrian portrait "Napoleon at the St. Bernard Pass".

In the picture, General Napoleon returns from his next campaign home, of course, the military company became victorious. The reared horse seemed to freeze with his heroic horseman, who raised his hand in a victorious gesture. This movement of the winner’s hand seemed to make the entire surrounding background freeze - the mountain ledges are motionless and merge with the uneasy relief sky.

At the feet of the general are three rocky ledges, visually forming a kind of pedestal. Looking at them, you can see the three embossed names of the heroes who conquered this pass: Hannibal, Charlemagne, and, of course, Napoleon himself. As you can see, David boldly puts his famous contemporary with great names of the past.

If you describe the picture in one word, it comes to mind - pathos. The whole picture literally breathes solemnity and pathos: a reared horse, whose rear hooves are a centimeter from the abyss, Napoleon’s wide, bright red cloak waving by the wind, an impassive face and a victory-indicating gesture.

There are a lot of brilliant elements in the picture - the hilt of the saber, harness, mane, posture, the famous cocked hat with a gilt edging. All of them create a kind of mosaic, on the one hand, absolutely chaotic, on the other hand, precisely thought out, which makes the viewer stop his eyes on individual elements without losing the main essence.

Today this picture is on the Malmaison estate, not far from Paris. This is the most famous residence of Napoleon and Josephine.


Watch the video: The Coronation of Napoleon by David. The Louvres priceless masterpiece. (December 2021).