FRANQUE, Jean-Pierre
(b. 1774, Le Buis, d. 1860, Paris)

Allegory of the State of France before the Return from Egypt

Oil on canvas, 261 x 326 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

During Napoleon's Egypt campaign in 1798-99, after their victory over the Mameluks near the pyramids in 1798, the French took Cairo., but the same year the victory of the English fleet under Admiral Nelson at Abukir prevented their retreat., Napoleon's army was cut off. In 1799 the French fought on into Syria, but Napoleon had to withdraw from Egypt in 1801. After his return to Paris the Directorate was brought down.

In his painting David's pupil Franque allegorised the condition of France at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries in retrospect, relativizing Napoleon's heroic deed in a grandiose manner. The painting was probably a joint production by Jean-Pierre and his twin brother Joseph.

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