Museo Correr

Museo Correr

MINIATURE PORTRAITS and other memories at the time of Napoleon. The Paola Sancassani collection


From 12 April 2018
Venice, Museo Correr


In the Napoleonic Halls of what was once the Royal Palace and is now Museo Correr, a new donation will go on show of a group of miniature portraits from the first half of the nineteenth century, mostly Italian but including some French and English, together with various artefacts of Napoleonic interest.

The miniatures show us the faces of men and women vividly captured by the refined art of the miniature, a specialisation that was much sought after and appreciated in the nineteenth century, producing exceptional artists, some of them renowned. Today, many of these faces are anonymous, whereas others belong to wellknown personalities or figures from the Napoleonic age, including the emperor himself.

In Europe and beyond, both during the Empire and after its fall, the epic story and myth of the period inspired a true “Napoleon-mania” that was translated into the most varied objects. The idea of rediscovering and preserving even a few evocative fragments of that crucial moment inspired the collection of Veronese Paola Sancassani – Venetian by choice and a great lover of history – now generously donated to Venice Civic Museums.

Waiting to be discovered at the Correr Museum are fascinating miniature portraits of Napoleon, his relatives, the generals and anonymous contemporaries, the delightful perfume bottle in gold and enamels that was a love token from Horatio Nelson to Lady Hamilton, paintings and prints of battles and commemorative medals and coins, all of which narrate the history of a short and contradictory age that nevertheless marked a decisive turning point in modern history.