Versailles, 3 January 2012, Art Media Agency, (AMA).
From 14 February to 13 May 2012, the Palace of Versailles will present the exhibition “Les guerres de Napoléon Louis-François Lejeune, général et peintre”
This exhibition is dedicated to 19th century French painter, Louis-François Lejeune (1775-1848), who also had careers linked to the military and political circles in the 1790s. Present at the Battle of Valmy in 1792, he was appointed sergeant in the first battalion of the arsenal and assisted at the seats Landrecies of Quesnoy and Valenciennes. He was continuously rising through the ranks and in 1798 became captain and then aide-de-camp to Marshal Berthier. As a history painter, his subjects were strongly autobiographical, as they represented battles and events which he personally attended, including the Sieges of Charleroi in 1794.
The exhibition seeks to trace the epic of the Napoleonic wars through the paintings which provide a true representation of the events. Approximately 150 paintings will be presented to the public, including drawings and scientific instruments revealing how the military scenes were painted, either using documents such as surveying or on the basis of personal experience in battle. However, if these works were regarded as valuable historical documents, this historical painting – dominant in this type of genres – also presents a whimsical look that does not necessarily provide the historical truth, but rather an imaginary favouring of heroism.