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Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
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Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter

  • Napoleon III personally chose Winterhalter to render his and his wife Eugénie's official portraits
  • In the exceptionally rare full size, these portraits would have been a gift from Napoleon III
  • Napoleon III is depicted with great majesty, and Eugénie is adorned with her most fantastic jewels
  • The original painting was destroyed, leaving only a few faithful copies from Winterhalter’s studio
  • Get complete item description here
$298,500
Item No. 31-8569

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Description
Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
(1805-1873) | German

Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie

Oil on canvas

These grand portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, executed in the renowned studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter, epitomize the grandeur and authority of France’s Second Empire. Symbolizing splendor and strength, Napoleon III used his official portrait as the most important way to publicly solidify his role as the just ruler of. . .
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Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
(1805-1873) | German

Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie

Oil on canvas

These grand portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, executed in the renowned studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter, epitomize the grandeur and authority of France’s Second Empire. Symbolizing splendor and strength, Napoleon III used his official portrait as the most important way to publicly solidify his role as the just ruler of France. He chose Franz Xaver Winterhalter, the preeminent painter of the European courts, to render his and his wife Eugénie's portraits. First unveiled at the prestigious 1855 Paris Salon, these monumental paintings are masterful representations of imperial power, capturing the essence of the Emperor who transformed Paris into a beacon of culture and progress.

Napoleon III is depicted with great majesty, dressed in the uniform of a major general, adorned with the cord and the grand collar of the Legion of Honor. He stands full-length, turned slightly in a three-quarter view, against a backdrop of rich purple brocades in front of the Palais des Tuileries. The coronation ermine cloak draped around him accentuates his silhouette, idealizing his image as the just ruler of France’s Second Empire.

The portrait of Empress Eugénie is equally stunning, showcasing her at the height of her radiance. Her famed crown, now housed in the Louvre, is exquisitely rendered, along with countless pearls, opulent fabrics and other priceless adornments. Draped in regal attire, Eugénie is portrayed with an aura of elegance and dignity.

These portraits were part of Winterhalter’s official commissions for the imperial court, reflecting his unparalleled ability to idealize his subjects. Winterhalter's success lay in his skill to portray royalty as they wished to be seen, making these portraits significant representations of his finest work. The original painting of Napoleon III was destroyed in an 1871 fire, leaving only a few faithful copies from Winterhalter’s studio. These renditions, particularly in the largest known size, are rare and historically important. These portraits were significant political gifts, often given to heads of state. The few full-scale renditions from Winterhalter’s studio are displayed in prestigious collections, including the Louvre, the Museo Napoleonico in Rome, and The Royal Trust Collection, originally requested by Queen Victoria. Together in their historical frames, they make a commanding presence that evokes all the splendor that was the Second Empire.

Circa 1860

Canvas (as a pair): 93 1/2“ high x 61” wide
Framed (as a pair) 121 1/4“ high x 76” wide x 12 1/2“ deep

Provenance:
Private Collection, Paris
M.S. Rau, New Orleans
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Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Period: 1816-1918
Origin: France
Type: Paintings
Style: Academic
Depth: 12.5 in. (31.75 cm)
Width: 76.0 in. (193.04 cm)
Height: 121.25 in. (307.98 cm)
Canvas Width: 61.000 in. (154.94 cm)
Canvas Height: 93.500 in. (237.49 cm)
Portraits of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie by Studio of Franz Xaver Winterhalter
The Other Napoleonic Era: The Forgotten Second French Empire

During the Second French Empire (1852-1870), Emperor Napoleon III brought modernity and luxury to France, accomplishing many of the unfulfilled goals of his uncle, Napoleon I. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Napoleon on his Imperial Throne,...

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Buy with Confidence

At M.S. Rau, we are committed to building a long-term, rewarding relationship with each and every client. That’s why your purchase is backed by our 125% guarantee.

Learn More

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