Au service de sa majesté

Ah le silence et vrille et vrille le roc le cri des cigales

In the utter silence Of a temple, A cicada’s voice alone Penetrates the rocks.

Palette and etiquette The Palais de Compiègne is organizing an exhibition of Europe’s last great court painter, Franz Xaver Winterhalter. Appointed painter to the court of Baden, the artist finally achieved success in 1837 in Paris with Il Decameron. He was much in demand among crowned heads of Europe: Louis-Philippe and Napoleon III; Belgian king Leopold I; Queen Victoria in England; and Austrian emperor Franz Josef; as well as Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna and the Hohenzollerns. Although official portraits followed strict conventions, Winterhalter brilliantly adapted his compositions to the taste of his clients. The Palais de Compiègne, built by Louis XV and Louis XVI, and renovated under Napoleon I and then Napoleon III, was a center of court life and royal power. Today it encompasses the imperial apartments, museums devoted to the Second Empire and the National Museum of the Vehicle and Tourism.

Winterhalter. Portraits de cour, entre faste et élégance

Jusqu’au 15.01.2017. Musées nationaux du palais de Compiègne, place du Général-de-Gaulle, Compiègne.

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