NGV IS OPEN TODAY

Entry to NGV is free and dedicated session times are available to book online for visits to NGV International and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

In line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s guidance, the NGV has implemented a variety of public health and physical distancing measures. You can read more information for your visit here.

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Napoleon, Emperor of the French and Charlemagne, King of the Franks

Jacques Louis DAVID
French 1748-1825

Although a thousand years (literally) separate Napoleon and Charlemagne, they have a lot in common: both ruled France; both created empires that united much of Western Europe; both crossed the Alps via the Great Saint Bernard Pass to invade northern Italy; both married the daughter of the king whose army they conquered in northern Italy – Napoleon to Marie-Louise, the daughter of the Austrian Emperor, Francis I, and Charlemagne to Desiderata, the daughter of the King of Lombardy, Desiderius; Charlemagne was the first Holy Roman Emperor, crowned in 800 and Napoleon dissolved the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. They are like matching bookends to 1,000 years of French history. Kooky coincidence or fickle fate?