General Jean-Baptiste Kléber and Egyptian Family (Sketches for "The Battle of the Pyramids")

Antoine-Jean Gros (French, 1771-1835)c. 1835

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

In 1810, Gros exhibited a massive painting of Napoleon at the 1798 Battle of the Pyramids, one of the rare French triumphs in the failed campaign to conquer Egypt (1789-1801). After Napoleon first fell from power in 1814, the painting went into storage, until the new king Louis-Philippe chose to resurrect it for a history museum in Paris. However, perhaps to diminish Napoleon's significance, the government asked Gros to amplify the original with an addition at each end. This painting incorporates General Kléber, a famously successful military leader who had been excluded from the original painting.

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  • Title: General Jean-Baptiste Kléber and Egyptian Family (Sketches for "The Battle of the Pyramids")
  • Creator: Antoine-Jean Gros (French, 1771-1835)
  • Date Created: c. 1835
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 377.2 x 126 x 12 cm (148 1/2 x 49 5/8 x 4 3/4 in.); Unframed: 352.1 x 97.8 cm (138 5/8 x 38 1/2 in.); Former: 306 x 98 cm (120 1/2 x 38 9/16 in.)
  • Provenance: J.-B. Delestre, Paris. His sale, Drouot, 13-14 October 1871 (lot 1), Les deux esquisses pour les pendentifs de droite et de gauche, surajoutés au tableau de la Bataille des Pyramides, ff 500 to M. Couvreur (perhaps sold to J. Arnous de Rivière, directeur de Revue illustrée, bought for ff 700 at Delestre sale, through 1880; Tripier le Franc 1880, 500). Gustave Rothan, Château de Luttenbach, (near Munster, Alsace). By descent after his death in 1890 to his daughter, Christa Anna Maria Rothan (in 1895, Baronne Pierre de Coubertin) until after 1917, Lausanne. By 1955, Jacques Seligmann & Co, New York, 1955. Purchased by the CMA in 1972.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1972.17
  • Medium: oil on linen
  • Department: Modern European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: France, 19th century
  • Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
  • Collection: Mod Euro - Painting 1800-1960
  • Accession Number: 1972.17

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