One of the cheeriest faces in New York right now can be found at the Morgan Library & Museum, in an exhibition of drawings on loan from the Musée du Louvre. It’s Pierre-Paul Prud’hon’s black-and-white chalk rendering of his pupil, fellow artist and eventual lover, Constance Mayer, dating from around 1804. She seems almost bursting with devotion and joy.
Yet she appears in the exhibition, "David, Delacroix, and Revolutionary France: Drawings from the Louvre.” The show is a survey of works produced during years of political turmoil that stretched from 1774, with the ascension to the throne of King Louis XVI, through the French Revolution, Napoleon’s Consulate, Empire, abdication and exile, the restoration of the Bourbon Monarchy, the Second Republic under Louis Napoleon, and ending finally with his becoming Napoleon III in 1852. (Read entire article.)