Napoleon Bonaparte may be best known for his ruthless conquests, but his older brother Joseph Bonaparte made a name for himself a very different way: as a French art maven. Joseph came to the U.S. in 1815 with an impressive collection of French art in tow, and when they were put on public display, art lovers were enthralled. It was really the first time the public was exposed to French art at this scale, and it ignited a passion among art lovers. The America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting exhibit at the National Gallery of Art draws on this passion.
Now through August 20th, the National Gallery of Art hosts a collection of 68 paintings that highlights the various techniques artists used in 19th-century France. These paintings aren’t as famous as other works of French art, which means you may never have the opportunity to see them again. So don’t miss this traveling exhibit at the National Gallery of Art this summer.