Enfilade

Statue of Elizabeth Freeman Unveiled in Massachusetts

Posted in anniversaries, on site, the 18th century in the news by Editor on August 24, 2022

On Sunday (21 August) a statue of Elizabeth Freeman (ca.1744–1829) was unveiled in Sheffield, Massachusetts, as reported by the Associated Press:

Brian Hanlon, Elizabeth Freeman, 2022 (Photo from the artist’s Instagram, hanlonstudio1). As noted by @PhyllisASears at Herstorical Monuments, there is also a sculpture of Freeman at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

The story of an enslaved woman who went to court to win her freedom [in 1781] more than 80 years before the Emancipation Proclamation had been pushed to the fringes of history.

A group of civic leaders, activists, and historians hope that ended Sunday in the quiet Massachusetts town of Sheffield with the unveiling of a bronze statue of the woman who chose the name Elizabeth Freeman, also when she shed the chains of slavery 241 years ago to the day.

Her story, while remarkable, remains relatively obscure. . . .

The enslaved woman, known as Bett, could not read or write, but she listened. And what she heard did not make sense.

While she toiled in bondage in the household of Col. John Ashley, he and other prominent citizens of Sheffield met to discuss their grievances about British tyranny. In 1773, they wrote in what are known as the Sheffield Resolves that “Mankind in a state of nature are equal, free, and independent of each other.”

Those words were echoed in Article 1 of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which begins “All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights.”

It is believed that Bett, after hearing a public reading of the constitution, walked roughly 5 miles from the Ashley household to the home of attorney Theodore Sedgwick, one of the citizens who drafted the Sheffield Resolves, and asked him to represent her in her legal quest for freedom, said Paul O’Brien, president of the Sheffield Historical Society.

Sedgwick and another attorney, Tapping Reeve, took the case. Women had limited legal rights in Massachusetts courts at the time, so a male slave in the Ashley household named Brom was added to the case. The jury agreed with the attorneys, freeing Bett and Brom on August 21, 1781. . . .

The full article is available here»

Exhibition | Herrnhut Turns 300

Posted in anniversaries, exhibitions by Editor on June 17, 2022

On this day (17 June) in 1722, building began at Herrnhut; information on events marking the 300th anniversary can be found here. From the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden:

Departure–Network–Remembrance: 300 Years of Herrnhut
Aufbruch–Netz–Erinnerung: 300 Jahre Herrnhut

Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut, 9 April — 27 November 2022

Founded in 1722 as a settlement for Protestant religious refugees from Moravia, Herrnhut quickly developed into an important center for crafts and trade, whose best-known product today is arguably the Herrnhut Star. Through the expansion and missionary activities of the Moravian Church, the town also became the center of a worldwide network of church renewal movements. Global exchange and commitment to the common good still characterize Herrnhut society today. For the anniversary year 2022, we are displaying insights and outlooks into 300 years of history and stories of Herrnhut and its people. This special exhibition was created in cooperation with the Moravian Church of Herrnhut, the Moravian Archives, and with Herrnhut‘s local history museum.

In the museum’s inner courtyard, a work by Dresden artist Su-Ran Sichling invites visitors to participate proactively. The museum foyer exhibits 3D prints of selected objects, inviting visitors to a ‘hands-on’ overview of the topic. The 3D prints were created in cooperation with the open workshop Geistesblitz in Löbau, where students train in the use of modern technologies. In addition, to mark the anniversary, various installations on the history of the Herrnhut mission will complement our permanent exhibition. They already offer insight into the design of a new exhibit, which is scheduled to open in 2023. Among them, visitors will find an intervention on Winti religion in Suriname, created by Rotterdam artist Jaasir Linger.

Exhibition | The Belvedere in Vienna

Posted in anniversaries, exhibitions by Editor on May 13, 2022

Salomon Kleiner, View of the Gardens of The Belvedere, detail, ca. 1731
(Vienna: Bibliothek des Belvedere)

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Opening in December at The Belvedere:

The Belvedere in Vienna: 300 Years a Place of Art
Lower Belvedere, Vienna, 2 December 2022 — 7 January 2024

It took more than a decade to build the summer residence of Vienna’s most famous general, Prince Eugene of Savoy. In 1723, construction of the upper palace drew to a close and the Belvedere estate was finally completed. The 300th anniversary of this event presents the perfect occasion for the museum to reflect on its history. Both as a museum and a landmark building, the Belvedere has stood for power and prestige throughout the ages, serving as the setting for courtly festivities, at times as a royal residence, and as the venue for the signing of the Austrian State Treaty in 1955. In an extensive exhibition, the museum will examine the building’s changing roles.

The show will mark the Belvedere’s 300th-anniversary year of 2023. Presented as a homage to an institution dedicated to the arts throughout the centuries, the exhibition casts a critical eye on historical developments and institutional changes. It illustrates the abundance and diversity of the museum, highlighting the collection’s evolution and the role of the holdings as symbols of power.

In 1777 when Marie Theresa opened the Imperial Picture Gallery in the Upper Belvedere to the public, she made a groundbreaking decision heralding a new age of enlightened absolutism: the collections would no longer be limited to courtly representation but would also serve to educate the general public. The Belvedere thrived during the succeeding centuries as both a place for the arts and a scene for glamorous events such as Marie Antoinette’s wedding. It was also the residence of the heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand, and the site where the Austrian State Treaty was signed. All of which is mirrored in its building and collection history.

The importance of the Belvedere as an art nexus over the centuries is examined in detail based on the rich holdings of the collection: they reflect the institution’s changing thematic concerns. The circulation and transfer of objects—additions and disposals of works from the collection due to museum reforms and barter transactions—provide further clues. This is particularly evident during the period from 1938 to 1945, when the museum was an agent and beneficiary of the Nazi state’s looting and cultural exploitation policy. Numerous works acquired after 1933 have been returned to the rightful heirs of the former owners since the enactment of the Austrian Art Restitution Law in 1998—the most notable example being Klimt’s Woman in Gold in 2006.

The Belvedere gallery and its collections reopened after World War II, once the damaged buildings and gardens were restored to their former glory. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty was signed in the Upper Belvedere and presented to the public from the palace’s balcony.

The exhibition covers the period from the completion of the upper palace in 1723 to the present day, and illustrates the Belvedere’s role as a museum that honors the past, reflects on the present, and looks toward the future.

New Book | In the Shadow of the Empress

Posted in anniversaries, books by Editor on May 13, 2022

Maria Theresa was born on this day (13 May) in 1717; from Little, Brown and Company:

Nancy Goldstone, In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters (Little, Brown and Company, 2021), 640 pages, ISBN: ‎978-0316449335, $32.

The vibrant, sprawling saga of Empress Maria Theresa—one of the most renowned women rulers in history—and three of her extraordinary daughters, including Marie Antoinette, the doomed queen of France.

Out of the thrilling and tempestuous eighteenth century comes the sweeping family saga of beautiful Maria Theresa, a sovereign of uncommon strength and vision, the only woman ever to inherit and rule the vast Habsburg Empire in her own name, and three of her remarkable daughters: lovely, talented Maria Christina, governor-general of the Austrian Netherlands; spirited Maria Carolina, the resolute queen of Naples; and the youngest, Marie Antoinette, the glamorous, tragic queen of France, and perhaps the most famous princess in history.

Unfolding against an irresistible backdrop of brilliant courts from Vienna to Versailles, embracing the exotic lure of Naples and Sicily, this epic history of Maria Theresa and her daughters is a tour de force of desire, adventure, ambition, treachery, sorrow, and glory.

Each of these women’s lives was packed with passion and heart-stopping suspense. Maria Theresa inherited her father’s thrones at the age of twenty-three and was immediately attacked on all sides by foreign powers confident that a woman would to be too weak to defend herself. Maria Christina, a gifted artist who alone among her sisters succeeded in marrying for love, would face the same dangers that destroyed the monarchy in France. Resourceful Maria Carolina would usher in the golden age of Naples only to face the deadly whirlwind of Napoleon. And, finally, Marie Antoinette, the doomed queen whose stylish excesses and captivating notoriety have masked the truth about her husband and herself for two hundred and fifty years.

Vividly written and deeply researched, In the Shadow of the Empress is the riveting story of four exceptional women who changed the course of history.

Nancy Goldstone is the author of six previous books including Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots; The Rival Queens: Catherine de’ Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom; The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc; Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe; and The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily. She has also coauthored six books with her husband, Lawrence Goldstone. She lives in Del Mar, California.

230th Anniversary of Robert Carter’s ‘Deed of Gift’

Posted in anniversaries, the 18th century in the news by Editor on September 6, 2021

Staggered over time, the manumission took decades to complete. A certificate of freedom for one of the freedmen reads, “Dennis Johnston, a Male Negro aged about twenty seven years of dark Complexion five feet ten or eleven inches, stout and well made liberated By Benjamen (sic) Dawson, trustee for Robert Carter by Deed dated the 3rd day of November 1799, and duly recorded in the County Court of Frederick. Registered this 2nd day of February 1809.” (Winchester, Virginia: Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library).

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As reported by Eliott McLaughlin for CNN, yesterday was the 230th anniversary of the start of the largest liberation of enslaved people in the United States prior to 1863.

Eliott C. McLaughlin, “Like Washington and Jefferson, He Championed Liberty. Unlike the Founders, He Freed His Slaves,” CNN (5 September 2021).

It was 230 years ago Sunday that Robert Carter III [1728–1804], the patriarch of one of the wealthiest families in Virginia, quietly walked into a Northumberland County courthouse and delivered an airtight legal document announcing his intention to free, or manumit, more than 500 slaves. He titled it the “deed of gift.” It was, by far, experts say, the largest liberation of Black people before the Emancipation Proclamation more than seven decades later.

On September 5, 1791, when Carter delivered his deed, slavery was an institution, a key engine of the new country’s economy. But many slaveholders—including founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who knew Carter—had begun to voice doubts. That was the extent of their umbrage. . . .

Today, descendants of both Carter and the men and women he freed say more must be done to propel the largely uncelebrated deed of gift into the national conscience.

Meriwether Gilmore, who grew up in Westmoreland County, where Carter’s Nomini Hall estate once spanned 2,000 acres, is related to Carter on her mother’s side. Her sister is named after his mother and oldest daughter, Priscilla. Her father worked with Black churches in the area to commemorate the deed of gift’s bicentennial in 1991.

“I think the story of Robert Carter III is incredibly important,” she said, “and not just to glorify another rich, White man, but to show how personal convictions can be stronger than the status quo, that doing the right thing is often hard but important and that people matter—that people are more important than the work that they perform.” . . .

A religious wanderer drawn later in life to integrated churches, Carter III was not the first to free his slaves. Others, middle-class Quakers and Baptists among them, had released a few slaves here, a few there, but none rivaled Carter’s deed, which established a schedule to free 511 slaves, starting with the oldest and later their children.

Carter also allowed the freedmen to choose their last names so they could keep families together and pass down wealth. He ensured they had salable skills, arranged for them to buy or lease land, and bought their wares. He also spent a great deal on transporting them from his plantations to the Northumberland courthouse, and on lawyers to guarantee his heirs—some none too happy he was paring their inheritance—didn’t undo his wishes. . . .

The full article is available here»

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As noted in the article, the Nomini Hall Slave Legacy Project works to chronicle the descendants of the enslaved Africans who were freed by Robert Carter III from his Nomini Hall estate.

For Carter’s biography, see Andrew Levy, The First Emancipator: The Forgotten Story of Robert Carter, the Founding Father Who Freed His Slaves (New York: Random House, 2005).

New Book | The Natural, Moral, and Political History of Jamaica

Posted in anniversaries, books by Editor on August 1, 2021

Today is Emancipation Day, a holiday celebrated in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. On 1 August 1834, slavery was legally abolished in British colonies, resulting in freedom for some 311,00 enslaved people in Jamaica. From the University of Virginia Press:

James Knight, The Natural, Moral, and Political History of Jamaica, and the Territories thereon Depending: From the First Discovery of the Island by Christopher Columbus to the Year 1746, edited by Jack Greene (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021), 832 pages, ISBN 978-0813945576 (ebook), $49 / ISBN: 978-0813945569 (cloth), $65.

Between 1737 and 1746, James Knight—a merchant, planter, and sometime Crown official and legislator in Jamaica—wrote a massive two-volume history of the island. The first volume provided a narrative of the colony’s development up to the mid-1740s, while the second offered a broad survey of most aspects of Jamaican life as it had developed by the third and fourth decades of the eighteenth century. Completed not long before his death in the winter of 1746–47 and held in the British Library, this work is now published for the first time. Well researched and intelligently critical, Knight’s work is not only the most comprehensive account of Jamaica’s ninety years as an English colony ever written; it is also one of the best representations of the provincial mentality as it had emerged in colonial British America between the founding of Virginia and 1750. Expertly edited and introduced by Jack Greene, this volume represents a colonial Caribbean history unique in its contemporary perspective, detail, and scope.

Jack P. Greene is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and author of Settler Jamaica in the 1750s: A Social Portrait (Virginia).

 

Enfilade Turns Twelve! Buy an Art Book!

Posted in anniversaries, site information by Editor on June 22, 2021

From the Editor

As Enfilade turns twelve (22 June), I write with wholehearted thanks! With over 1.1 million views to date—more than 3400 subscribers and 10,000 clicks each month—the site still exists because you’re still reading. And so to celebrate . . .

1) Buy an art book this week. In the world of academic art history publishing, several hundred books sold over a few days is stellar. It’s an important way to communicate that the eighteenth century is a thriving field with a vital, engaged audience. The more people who buy books addressing the eighteenth century, the easier it will be to publish your next book on the eighteenth century.

2) Renew your HECAA membership. In the normal world $30 doesn’t really count as philanthropy. For a small academic society it does. Because HECAA is registered as a 501c3, all donations are tax deductible in the United States. So send in a contribution of $100 or $5. But donate something. Student memberships are just $10. More information is here.

3) Finally, send in news you’d like to see reported!  I’m glad to post announcements about conferences, forthcoming books, journal articles, exhibitions, fellowship opportunities, &c. Just about anything except job listings. The postings readers most enjoy are inevitably original content, reports of interesting collections, house museums, resources, and the like. CraigAshleyHanson@gmail.com.

-Craig Hanson

Online Conversation | Juneteenth

Posted in anniversaries, lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on June 17, 2021

 

This CW Conversation is part of the Foundation’s Us: Past, Present, Future series (there are lots of terrific resources listed below; for course websites, I’m particularly excited about the timeline, which ranges from 1565 to 2020. CH).

Juneteenth: A Conversation with Deirdre Jones Cardwell, Richard Josey, and Michael Twitty
Online, Colonial Willamsburg Foundation, 19 June 2021, 4pm (EDT)

General Order Number Three, which officially informed enslaved Texans of their legal freedom, stated that emancipation involved “an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property.” Have we achieved the promises of Juneteenth, and how should it be observed? Join Deirdre Jones Cardwell, Programming Lead and Actor Interpreter with Colonial Williamsburg, Richard Josey, Founder and Principal Consultant for Collective Journeys LLC, and Michael Twitty, Culinary Historian, in a discussion about the story, significance, and meanings of Juneteenth.

Click here to join the livestream event on Saturday, 19 June 2021, at 4.00pm (EDT). You don’t have to have a Facebook Account to watch, but you will need to sign in to join the discussion.

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Whether you’re looking to read up on this topic before joining the conversation, or want some further reading afterward, here’s recommended reading from Colonial Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg Juneteenth Resources

Colonial Williamsburg has created several related web resources, including an informational What is Juneteenth? page, a calendar of Juneteenth special events at Colonial Williamsburg, and a Juneteenth Historical Timeline that provides history and context for the commemoration.

The Colonial Williamsburg Resource Library provides access to numerous resources that explore relevant themes such as citizenship, civics, and government using video, lessons, and interactive web activities. The Resource Library features several relevant resources such as the When Freedom Came electronic field trip and Whose Emancipation?

Colonial Williamsburg’s YouTube Channel features 2020 productions “Juneteenth at Custis Square” and “Before Juneteenth.”

Juneteenth Resources from Other Cultural Institutions

• The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture offers “The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth.”
• The Library of Congress blog offers “The Birth of Juneteenth: Voices of the Enslaved” and “Emancipation Day in South Carolina . . .,” an 1863 illustration from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.
• The Library of Virginia’s The Uncommonwealth blog focuses on “Why Juneteenth?
• PBS features “What is Juneteenth?” with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
• The National Archives presents an online exhibit The Emancipation Proclamation, providing context on that document issued January 1, 1863.

Books

• Annette Gordon-Reed. On Juneteenth. New York: Liveright Publishing, 2021.
• Angela Johnson. All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014.

New Book | Venetian Drawings

Posted in anniversaries, books, catalogues by Editor on May 12, 2021

On this day (12 May) in 1797, Ludovico Manin, the last doge of Venice—in response to Napoleonic aggression—formally abolished La Serenissima after 1,100 years of existence. Notice of this SMK catalogue seems like a fine way to mark the anniversary. I didn’t provide a posting here at Enfilade when it was initially published in 2018, but copies are still available. Thomas Dalla Costa’s review of it appears in the current issue of Master Drawings (2021, volume 59, issue 1); it also was reviewed by Jörg Zutter for The Burlington in December 2019. CH

Chris Fischer, Venetian Drawings: The Royal Collection of Graphic Art (Copenhagen: Statens Museum for Kunst, 2018), 339 pages, ISBN 978-8775510719, 300 Danish Kroner (DKK), or about $50.

This catalogue is the first publication of all the Venetian drawings in the Royal Collection of Graphic Art at the National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst). Few of these drawings have ever been published, and only a handful has been shown to the public within living memory. Research in connection with this catalogue has revealed that not only is the number of drawings from this geographic area surprisingly high, but the quality of the drawings is stupendous, counting some of the most beautiful sheets in the collection. Furthermore, the comprehensiveness of this part of the collection has proved extraordinary with very even coverage of the development of draughtsmanship in Venice and the Venetian mainland from the 1480s, when sketching on paper became common, through the lesser-known 17th century to the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797. The catalogue presents more than 200 fine drawings by Vittore Carpaccio, Moretto da Brescia, Domenico Campagnola, Jacopo Bassano, Paolo Farinati and Paolo Veronese, large groups of studies by Palma Giovane and Antonio Vassilacchi called Aliense, as well as sheets by 18th-century draughtsmen such as Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, Gaspare Diziani, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his son Domenico, Francesco Fontebasso, Francesco Guardi, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

It is available at the SMK Shop, and can be ordered in Danish bookstores and webshops such as Academic Books, Bog & Idé, Bogreolen, Buuks, Gucca, I Music, Plusbog og Saxo.

Napoleon Two Centuries Later

Posted in anniversaries, books, catalogues, exhibitions, the 18th century in the news by Editor on May 10, 2021

Two centuries after his death (the anniversary of which arrived last week on May 5), Napoleon’s legacy remains combustible. From the Musée de l’Armée:

Napoléon n’est plus / Napoleon Is No Nore
Musée de l’Armée Invalides, Paris, 31 March — 31 October 2021

The death of Napoleon I on 5 May 1821—although it went relatively unnoticed in the eyes of the world—was extremely well documented by his companions in exile. Despite the abundance of memories, letters, sketches, relics, and stories, this history nevertheless includes grey areas, uncertainties, contradictions. In this exhibition, we examine the major themes surrounding the death of Napoleon by changing the perspectives. By calling in new scientific disciplines (archaeology, medicine, chemistry) in order to complete already known historical sources and material evidence of this history, the musée de l’Armée provides visitors with all the necessary elements to enable them to conduct the investigation by themselves.

This exhibition is part of the 2021 Napoleon Season organised to celebrate the bicentenary of the Emperor’s death. The musée de l’Armée will present a rich and varied cultural offering evoking the end of Napoleon’s personal adventure, while opening up to the topicality and the current reality of his legacy to the world. . . .

Napoléon n’est plus (Paris: Gallimard, 2021), 296 pages, ISBN: 978-2072931604, 35€.

From the Musée de l’Armée:

Napoleon? Encore!
Musée de l’Armée Invalides, Paris, 7 May 2021 — 13 February 2022

Curated by Éric de Chassey and Julien Voinot

This contemporary art tour evokes the figure of Napoleon as well as his legacy. Thirty contemporary artists received carte blanche to question this symbolic and historical figure.

Echoing the commemorations of the bicentenary of the death of the Emperor, the musée de l’Armée is presenting, for the first time in its history, a contemporary art tour at Les Invalides. The presentation of pre-existing works and specially commissioned orders entrusted to renowned or emerging artists, from France and abroad, evokes the figure of Napoleon as well as the impact of his action in today’s world. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Napoleon Is No More, the curation of this contemporary tour was entrusted to Éric de Chassey, Director of the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, and Julien Voinot, Collections Manager in the Department of 19th-Century and Symbolic Art of the musée de l’Armée.

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From The New York Times:

Roger Cohen, “France Battles over Whether to Cancel or Celebrate Napoleon,” The New York Times (5 May 2021). President Emmanuel Macron laid a wreath at the emperor’s tomb on the 200th anniversary of his death, stepping into a national debate over the legacy of Napoleon.

Jacques Chirac couldn’t stand him. Nicolas Sarkozy kept his distance. François Hollande shunned him. But on the 200th anniversary this week of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death, Emmanuel Macron has chosen to do what most recent presidents of France have avoided: honor the man who in 1799 destroyed the nascent French Republic in a putsch.

By choosing to lay a wreath Wednesday at Napoleon’s tomb under the golden dome of Les Invalides, Mr. Macron stepped into the heart of France’s culture wars. Napoleon, always a contested figure, has become a Rorschach test for the French at a moment of tense cultural confrontation.

Was Napoleon a modernizing reformer whose legal code, lycée school system, central bank and centralized administrative framework laid the basis for post-revolutionary France? Or was he a retrograde racist, imperialist, and misogynist?

By paying his respects to Napoleon, Mr. Macron will please a restive French right dreaming of lost glory and of a moment when, under its turbulent emperor, France stood at the center of the world. The French obsession with the romantic epic of Napoleon’s rise and fall is undying, as countless magazine covers and talk shows have underscored in recent weeks. But in the current zeitgeist, Napoleon’s decisive role as founder of the modern French state tends to pale beside his record as colonizer, warmonger and enslaver. . . .

The full article is available here»

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Rendering from Pascal Convert of his Memento Marengo as envisioned at Les Invalides in Paris.

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From Apollo Magazine:

Laura O’Brien, “The Celebrity Horse That’s Putting Napoleon in the Shade,” Apollo Magazine (6 May 2021).

On a cold December day in 1840, Napoleon Bonaparte’s body made its final journey through the streets of Paris for reburial at the Dôme church at Les Invalides. Nineteen years after his death on Saint Helena, on 5 May 1821, the former emperor’s remains had been repatriated to France. The procession to Les Invalides included a lone, riderless white horse. In the emotionally charged atmosphere of that day, some witnesses even believed for a moment that this was the emperor’s most famous mount: Marengo.

Now, 200 years after Napoleon’s death, Bonaparte and Marengo are to be reunited, albeit temporarily. As part of Napoleon? Encore!, an exhibition of contemporary art responding to Napoleon’s image and complex legacies [on view from 7 May 2021 to 13 February 2022], the French multimedia artist Pascal Convert has created Memento Marengo: a life-sized, 3D-printed copy of the skeleton of the Arab horse said to have been Napoleon’s favourite—or one of his favourites, at least. Convert had originally hoped to use the real skeleton, which is usually on display at London’s National Army Museum, but its fragility made this impossible. Memento Marengo will hang from the ceiling of the Dôme church, the equine skeleton suspended a few metres above the enormous red quartzite tomb of its ex-master. On 5 May, President Emmanuel Macron placed a wreath of red, white, and blue flowers at the foot of the tomb, as part of the official commemorations—not celebrations, as the Élysée Palace has carefully insisted—of Napoleon’s death. Memento Marengo was not in place during the solemn ceremonies at Les Invalides, but with these now completed, the artwork can be installed ahead of the planned reopening of the museum later this month. . . .

The full article is available here»

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