Antonio Canova's Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker and the limits of imperial portraiture

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Abstract

Through an examination Antonio Canova's Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker (1806), this essay explores the contradictions in Napoleon's ambitions for art as well as the conflicts between leading aesthetic doctrines and the requirements of Napoleonic propaganda. While Canova's prestige as an artist attracted the attention of Napoleon and his artistic advisers, his autonomy as an artist and the refined nature of his work made him unsuitable as a propagandist. The history of the Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker points to an emerging separation between the aims of artists and the demands of official propaganda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-378
Number of pages25
JournalFrench History
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History

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