Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!
Browse other programs we offer

Art + History: David and Napoleon

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0162
Select Your Tickets
Powered by Zoom

"Napoleon Crossing the Alps" by Jacques-Louis David

Great art is timeless, and speaks to us across time, culture, and space. Yet great works come from real people living real lives—whether their work was made 5 minutes or 500 years ago. In this series, popular Smithsonian Associates speaker Paul Glenshaw looks at great works of art in their historical context. He delves into the time of the artist, explores the present they inhabited, and what shaped their vision and creations.

From 1789 until 1793, Jacques-Louis David was a leading figure both in French art and the most radical factions of the revolution. A fervent anti-royalist, his Death of Marat became an emblem of the violent and turbulent time. He was even jailed and faced possible execution. How then did he become the ardent court painter to Napoleon, the first emperor of France?

To answer, Glenshaw looks at three of David’s iconic paintings: Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1801), The Coronation of Napoleon (1807), and The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries (1812). He explores the paths taken by David and Napoleon as they each rise to prominence during the revolution, and then come together to establish Napoleon’s image for the world. 

Glenshaw is an artist, educator, author, and filmmaker with more than 30 years’ experience working across disciplines in the arts, history, and sciences. He teaches drawing for Smithsonian Associates and studied painting at Washington University in St. Louis.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.