Napoleon and Josephine Visiting the Studio of David, 4 January 1808 - English translation.
There was great fanfare when David announced the completion of his picture. The royal couple, accompanied by a large entourage from the court, made a special visit to the artist's studio to see the work on 4 January 1808. It was an official display of royal patronage with music and a cavalry escort for the parade of carriages. Pleased with David's work and overwhelmed by the realism of the enormous canvas, Napoleon exclaimed, "What truth! This is not a painting, I can walk in it!" Surrounded by his court and all those assembled, the emperor continued: "Well done, David, very well done! You have correctly guessed my own intention in representing me as a French knight [chevalier français]. I am grateful to you for having given future generations proof of my affection for the woman with whom I share the burdens of government."
figures; drama; narrative; painting; studios
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