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The Art of France

The first programme in this excellent series ended with a tour around the stunning Palace of Versailles, while this week’s episode centres on the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte....
(Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

The first programme in this excellent series ended with a tour around the stunning Palace of Versailles, while this week's episode centres on the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte....

The first programme in this excellent series ended with a tour around the stunning Palace of Versailles, while this week's episode centres on the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte, who 'liberated' art and antiquities wherever he went and brought them back to Paris.

If revolution meant the dawn of a new age, art was at its epicentre, says art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon.

'I can feel the power!' he marvels when he picks up Napoleon's famous bicorn hat (although, sadly, he's not allowed to actually try it on).

Jacques-Louis David's painting of Napoleon astride his horse is central to this episode, but Andrew explains why another painting, by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, is of even more interest.