The partnership between the region Hauts-de-France, the town of Arras and the Palace of Versailles is continuing with a new exhibition dedicated to Napoleon.
The exhibition presents a large selection of the Napoleonic collection from the palaces of Versailles and Trianon, which is the world's largest on the subject. Visitors will be able to discover the history of Napoleon in chronological order, from General Bonaparte to the fallen Emperor.
The exhibition also throws the spotlight on the Emperor's close circle (family, important officers, imperial Court) and the Parisian and international societies of the time (artists, scholars, foreign sovereigns etc.)
It shows how, from very early on, Napoleon wanted to write his own legend for posterity by commissioning multiple paintings commemorating key moments of his life. Paintings, sculptures and furniture reveal the wealth and quality of artistic production at the time and will lead visitors in the footsteps of Napoleon Bonaparte, whose unique destiny forever.
• Frédéric Lacaille, Curator in charge of 19th-century paintings at the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon
• Marie-Lys Marguerite, Director of Arras Musée des Beaux-Arts
As a strategist, Napoleon knew the power of images and, from his first feats of arms, he used the arts to immortalise the memory of glorious and symbolic moments, taking liberties with the historical truth.
Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Arras
22 rue Paul Doumer
Full price: €7.50
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm
From 7 October every Saturday at 2:30pm and Sundays at 11:00am
The Tourist Information Office offers a guided tour of the Napoleon exhibition.
Around the exhibition
Napoleon at Versailles is the story of a close link between the first emperor of France and the domain of the kings that the "Palace of Versailles in Arras" partnership highlights. In the footsteps of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, his time at Versailles, often misunderstood, marked the beginning of his new relationship with Marie-Louise.
The Versailles estate now houses the finest Napoleonic collection in the world, made up of masterpieces - paintings, sculptures and furniture - from the 19th century masters: David, Gros, Gérard, Lefèvre, Girodet, Lejeune, Canova, Jacob-Desmalter, among others.
Complete program of events
An artistic and cultural program offers shows, in connection with the history of Napoleon.
The young public booklet
A booklet dedicated to young public, to discover the exhibition differently.
The museum team will work with teachers to develop customised projects.
This exhibition is part of a partnership project between three major institutions: the region Hauts-de-France, the town of Arras and the Palace of Versailles. This large-scale partnership was established in 2011, allowing collections from Versailles to be displayed in Arras. Major event-exhibitions are held alongside educational and cultural work in order to allow as many people as possible to discover the history and heritage of the Palace of Versailles.
After more than three years of restoration work, the Queen’s State Apartment is being reopened to the public, providing a great opportunity to revisit three of the Palace of Versailles’ key female characters: Marie-Antoinette, who lived in the Queen’s State Apartment, Marie Leszczynska and Madame de Maintenon.