Napoleon Crossing the Alps at Saint Bernard Pass, 1800

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11/8/13 Napoleon Crossing the Alps at Saint Bernard Pass, 1800 The painting of Napoleon Crossing the Alps at Saint Bernard Pass is truly a magnificent and unique work of art for its time. It is an oil painting on canvas which was painted by JacquesLouis David. The work was first started in October of 1800 and completed just four months later in January of 18011. However, there were a total of five different versions of the painting created, with the last version being completed in 1805. All five versions are located at several different locations throughout Europe. The work was painted at the Château de Malmaison, which at the time was a government building just outside of Paris, France. The painting is approximately 8’6” in height and 7’3” in width2. The work depicts General Napoleon Bonaparte horseback along with his troops traveling through the Alps while on a military campaign against the Austrians.3 Ironically, Napoleon didn’t actually lead his troops through the Alps but rather followed several days behind them for his own safety.4 There were many historical trends and forces after the French Revolution which played a roll in this particular work of art. Because of the upheaval that was occurring in France during the French Revolution, the country was vulnerable to threatening outside countries and armies. This influenced Napoleon to become part of the Consul. Shortly after the French Revolution,

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Napoleon Bonaparte claimed himself as the new First Consul and eventually went on to become the emperor of France.5 This would be one of the political trends and influences of David’s…...

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