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Clock

Jean-Joseph Lepaute, clock movement; Sèvres Imperial Manufactory, Manufacturer1813

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

This imposing clock is surmounted by a figure of Napoleon in classical dress, symbolizing his 1804 coronation as Emperor. In France, the late Neoclassical, or Empire, style was closely associated with Napoleon, who adopted the emblems of the Roman Empire to promote his self-appointed authority as France's first emperor. The clock replicated the 144-foot triumphal column in the Place Vendôme in Paris, commemorating Napoleon's victory at the 1805 Battle of Austerlitz. Here the column form and military trophies reinforce Napoleon's image as Emperor. In 1812 Napoleon gave Michel Ney the rank of Marshal and called him "the bravest of the brave." The next year Napoleon conveyed his appreciation with this clock, a New Year's gift to Ney's wife, Aglae Auguié.

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Details

  • Title: Clock
  • Creator: Jean-Joseph Lepaute, clock movement; Sèvres Imperial Manufactory, Manufacturer
  • Date Created: 1813
  • Physical Dimensions: w292.1 x h1308.1 x d292.1 in
  • Culture: French
  • Type: Decorative Arts
  • Rights: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Renken Sr., Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Renken Sr.
  • External Link: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Medium: Soft-paste porcelain with gilding, copper alloy with mercury gilding, and brass movement

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