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Athenaeum Day Trip to the National Gallery of Art in DC

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting
with special tour by Dodge Thompson, Chief of Exhibitions, National Gallery of Art

Limited seats available for Athenaeum Members and one guest, $100 each

Lunch at The Garden Café included


Departs the Athenaeum at 8:00am and leaves DC at 5:00pm

Joseph Bonaparte, bother of Napoleon and once King of Spain, arrived in the US in 1815 and lived in Philadelphia and Bordentown, NJ, from 1817 to 1832. He built a palatial estate where he displayed his large art collection representing some of the best artists of Europe. The influence of this collection on Philadelphia artists of the time is now being explored and will be addressed in the exhibition catalogue. Our guide, Dodge Thompson, is an avid collector of Joseph Bonaparte material and is author of an article in the exhibition catalogue concerning him.

This exhibition of 68 of the finest examples of 18th century French painting found in America, tells the story of those responsible for bringing the paintings across the Atlantic. On view with works originally held by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquise de Pompadour, are decorative canvases by François Boucher and Jean Honoré Fragonard, portraits by Jacques Louis David and Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, landscapes by Hubert Robert, and still lifes by Jean Siméon Chardin and Jean-Baptiste Oudry. It also explores various themes popular with late 19th- and early 20th-century American collectors—from fêtes galantes to the art of the Enlightenment.

The Athenaeum’s Bonaparte collection contains several Joseph Bonaparte items and this summer the Athenaeum will launch a website/database exploring Joseph Bonaparte and his collection.


Qty Description Price
National Gallery Tour

Joseph Ducreux, Le Discret,
c. 1791, oil on aluminum, transferred from canvas, Spencer Museum of Art.



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