Paris Salon of 1804  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

At the Salon of 1804, Antoine-Jean Gros debuted his painting Bonaparte Visiting the Plague House at Jaffa. The painting launched his career as a successful painter. It depicts Napoleon as he visits his own men in Jaffa (part of present-day Israel and Syria). He had just massacred the countries after losing an attempt to conquer Egypt and his men caught the plague. Opinions differ as to why he visited: whether it was to determine if he should leave his troops to die in Jaffa, or to boost morale. The painting is important for Gros because he shows Napoleon in a mostly positive light. He also showed an exotic setting and a recent event, which set him apart from his contemporaries.

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