In 1815, Joseph, elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, arrived in America, bringing with him his vast and exquisite collection of eighteenth-century French painting, and a new American taste for eighteenth-century French painting was born.
America Collects Eighteenth-century French Painting brings together some of the best and most unusual examples of this type of art that American museums have to offer, and tells their stories on a national stage.
Who were the collectors, curators, museum directors and dealers responsible for bringing eighteenth-century French painting to America?
Where are the paintings now? The book considers America's very real fascination with France in the eighteenth century: a staunch ally in the Revolutionary wars, a cultural and intellectual model for Franklin, Jefferson and other Americans abroad.
It also looks at the way in which the cultural ideal of eighteenth-century France has continued to endure in the American imagination.