Lost Napoleon work found in Venice

A lost fresco portraying Napoleon’s triumph at the Battle of Austerlitz has been rediscovered in Venice.

The fresco by Venetian artist Giovanni Carlo Bevilacqua (1775-1849) was one of a series of celebratory works commissioned in Venice after the French military genius’s victory over the mighty combined forces of Austria and Russia in 1805.

The battle, considered Napoleon’s greatest triumph, saw the lagoon city officially pass from the Austrian Empire to the new Kingdom of Italy.

Bevilacqua’s fresco, which disappeared some time in the 19th century, is believed to be one of the very few paintings depicting Napoleon left in the city whose proud 1,000-year independence the French emperor had brought to a sad end eight years earlier, in 1797.

The work was found during a ten-year restoration of a grand palace, Palazzo Loredan, which once housed one of Napoleon’s generals, Louis Baranguay d’Illiers, who commissioned the work.

Palazzo Loredan, now the home of the Veneto Institute of Arts, Letters and Science, will be reopened to the public on Saturday.

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Published in: on April 16, 2009 at 3:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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