December 2, 2010 cameron

Napoleon Exhibition Coming To Melbourne in 2012

I’m a bit slow off the mark with this news – amazed it didn’t come up in my feeds – but a big thanks to listener Ken Richards who posted the new to our comments section:

Napoleon heads for Melbourne – 2012
Raymond Gill – The Age
September 23, 2010 – 3:00AM

THE competition among state governments to stage ”exclusive” blockbusters during the winter months is hotting up.

The Victorian Arts Minister Peter Batchelor has claimed the NSW and Queensland governments have ”plagiarised’ the success of the annual Winter Masterpiece series at the National Gallery of Victoria so yesterday he announced not one but two blockbusters heading for Melbourne.

”Mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery,” Mr Batchelor said at the NGV yesterday as he announced the NGV will present in 2012 Napoleon: Revolution to Empire, which presents French art, design, furniture, court costumes, and armour from the 1770s to the 1820s, with most of the 200 works borrowed from the Fondation Napoleon in Paris.

The 2011 Melbourne Winter Masterpiece Vienna: Art and Design, featuring major works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele from the Belvedere Palace and Wien Museum in Vienna, was first reported by The Age in June.

The show of 240 works celebrates Vienna as a centre of art and design at the turn of last century and its inclusion of a dozen glittering Klimts includes four of his most famous female portraits, including one of his lover, Emilie Floge.

Both shows are exclusive to Melbourne and funded by the Victorian Major Events Company, which is charged with finding events that will bring tourists to Melbourne.

Mr Batchelor said the twin announcement was not part of a defensive strategy to shore up the city’s position as a magnet for cultural tourism. ”We are leading the way anyway,” Mr Batchelor said.

”This forward notice of themes allows other artistic bodies and restaurants for example to plan complementary events,” he said. Since the Winter Masterpiece Series began in 2004, the shows have attracted a total of 2.4 million people adding an estimated $138 to the state economy, he said.

This story was found at:


Comments (10)

  1. Adrian

    Hi Cameron and David. Firstly, many thanks for producing this superb series which, as a newcomer to this subject, I am enjoying immensely.

    Secondly, it occurs to me that the 2012 exhibition in Melbourne presents a wonderful excuse for your listeners and fan club to have some sort of meet-and-greet/catch-up/p!ss-up while any of us are in Melbourne at the same time.

    I am very much planning to visit this exhibition, and I fear that too much Napoleonic history will barely be enough!

    • Cameron

      An excellent idea, Adrian! I’ve been looking for an excuse to get David down to Oz for many years. We might have to talk to the NGV?

  2. HI Cameron and David!
    any Napoleon related events and whatnot in NY!? i love this podcast! i listen to it while i paint at the studio. thank you.

  3. Hi – A bit of an update on the Napoleon exhibition coming to Melbourne in June 2012. I thought your listeners might like to see an outline of what the exhibtion is going to cover. I received this as I am lending a coupe of things from my collection.

    Would be good if a group fo us got together to go see it and perhaps have a dinner afterwards!

    Napoleon — Revolution to Empire, a major exhibition which the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is presenting in Melbourne from 2 June to 7 October 2012. This is a panoramic exhibition examining French art, culture and life from the 1770s to the 1820s. Its trajectory runs from the first French voyages of discovery to Australia during the reign of Louis XV to the end of Napoleon’s transforming leadership as first Emperor of France.
    The Fondation Napoleon in Paris is the official partner for this exhibition, which will present to the Australian public more than 300 works of art in all media — paintings, watercolours and drawings, engravings, sculpture, furniture, textiles, porcelain, glass, gold and silver, fashion, jewellery and armour. The lead curators for this exhibition are Karine Huguenaud, Chargee des Collections, Fondation Napoleon and Dr Ted Gott, Senior Curator of International
    Art at the NGV. The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive fully illustrated publication, written by international scholars in the field.
    The story of this exhibition unfolds on an ambitious scale, as it examines the close links that connected France and Australia during the Napoleonic era. The show contains the following sections:

    1. Louis XV and the voyages of discovery of Dufresne and St Allouarn. Their claiming of the west coast of Australia for France in 1 772 — this aspect of history, which has been largely forgotten in Australia, will be a first surprise for our visitors, signalling the
    strong Franco-Australian subtext which underpins this exhibition;
    2. Louis XVI, the ancien regime, and the voyage of discovery made by La Perouse in 1785. The adolescent Napoleon’s wish to join this voyage to Australia. Exceptionally,La Perouse witnessed the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillips and the First Fleet of English colonists in Sydney (then Botany Bay) in 1788;
    3. The Revolution, Terror and Directoire periods. Josephine in prison. Napoleon’s rise to power following his suppression of the XIII Vendemiaire insurgency.
    D’Entrecasteaux’s 1 792 voyage to Australia in search of La %rouse (who had disappeared without trace after leaving Sydney); the arrival in Australia of the
    botanists Labillardiere and Delahaye on this voyage;
    4. Napoleon in Egypt (viewed as a blueprint for Baudin’s scientific expedition to Australia in 1800);
    5. Josephine at Malmaison — Percier and Fontaine;
    6. The Battle of Marengo;
    7. The Consulate Era;
    8. The Baudin expedition, sent to Australia by Napoleon as First Consul;
    9. The Coronation, 1804;
    10. Australia at Malmaison. The return of the Baudin expedition in 1803-04, bringing emus, kangaroos and black swans back from Australia to reside in Josephine’s gardens at Malmaison. Felix Delahaye, formerly of the 1792 d’Entrecasteaux voyage to Australia, as Head Gardener at Malmaison from 1803. Josephine and Redoute, and Redoute’s numerous illustrations of Australian plants cultivated at Malmaison by Josephine and her gardeners;
    11. Napoleon and the arts — his reinvigoration of the Salon, creation of the Musee Napoleon, etc;
    12. The Imperial Family;
    13. Luxury. The private life of the Emperor and Empress;
    14. The Art of War;
    15. Empire Style;
    16. Napoleon and Marie-Louise;
    17. Saint Helena. Connections between Australia and Napoleon’s time on Saint Helena (his lodging with the Balcombe family at their property ‘The Briars’ on first arriving at the island; the subsequent emigration of the Balcombe family to Australia; the acquisition of ‘The Briars’ on Saint Helena by Dame Mabel Brooks, the Australian great grand-daughter of William Balconnbe, and her gift of this property to the French government in 1959)

    Major French institutions (including Malmaison, Versailles, Sevres, the Musee de l’Arrnee, Mobilier National and the Museum d’histoire naturelle in Le Havre) have already agreed to work in staging this exhibition, which is a unique opportunity for the NGV to present in Australia such a major exploration of the Napoleonic era. As it is unlikely that another Napoleonic exhibition of this breadth and ambition could be mounted in Australia for a very long time.

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