Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley at the Brooklyn Museum

Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley brings an iconic painting from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection – Kehinde Wiley’s Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps (2005) – into dialogue with its early nineteenth-century source painting, Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1800-1801). The two paintings, displayed together for the very first time, are on view in consecutive exhibitions at the Château de Malmaison from October 9, 2019 to January 6, 2020, and at the Brooklyn Museum from January 24 to May 10, 2020. The exhibition questions how ideas of race, masculinity, representation, power, heroics, and agency play out within the realm of portraiture. The presentation at the Brooklyn Museum marks the first display of David’s painting in New York, and Wiley helps highlight this momentous occasion by consulting on the exhibition design. Video also accompanies the project, incorporating Wiley’s perspectives on how the Western canon, French portrait tradition, and legacies of colonialism influence his own practice. The exhibition represents an intimate conversation between two key artists of the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries and illuminates how images construct history, convey notions of power and leadership, and monumentalize figures in the form of aggrandizing icons.

Start Date

January 24, 2020

End Date

May 10, 2020


11:00 AM - 06:00 PM


Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, NY 11238

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