Sunday, May 20, 2012

Appiani, Andrea

Portrait of Napoleon
oil on canvas
100 × 75 cm (39.4 × 29.5 in)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

Andrea Appiani (1754 - 1817) was an Italian neoclassical painter. He came from a lower middle-class background in Milan. He had been intended to follow his father's career in medicine but instead entered the private academy of the painter. He received instruction in drawing, copying mainly from sculpture and prints. He also studied anatomy.

In May 1805, Appiani took part in Napoleon’s coronation in Milan. Napoleon I named Andrea Appiani his "first court painter" and commissioned him to paint works in the Palazzo Reale in Milan. He was made pensioned artist to the Kingdom of Italy by Napoleon, awarded the Légion d'Honneur and the Order of the Iron Crown, and painted Napoleon as First Consul, then Emperor, on several occasions throughout the decade, but lost his allowance after the events of 1814 and fell into poverty. During his stint as court painter he rendered portraits of Napoleon and the chief personages of his regime.