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Engraving - Napoleon le Grand, 1808
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Engraving - Napoleon le Grand, 1808

Measurements: 80cm (31.5in) x 62cm (24.5in)

£1600

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Portrait of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, after Gérard; standing full-length in coronation robes and the grand collar of the Legion of Honour before the throne, holding a staff and with an orb beside him. Framed and glazed.
 
In 1804, Napoleon personally chose Desnoyers to engrave Gérard's portrait of himself as Emperor of France. The print and painting were deliberately modelled on a famous portait of Louis XVI that had been painted by Callet and engraved by Bervic. The print took four years to complete, and was issued in three states; it was exhibited at the Salon of 1810. Desnoyers is said to have been paid 2000 livres, together with the return of the plate to sell to his own profit after 600 impressions had been printed.
 
The Prince Regent purchased an impression of the print in 1811 from Colnaghi at the cost of £63. This was apparently the most expensive print he ever bought. It is currently on display in the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace Road as part of the George IV: Art and Spectacle exhibit.

 

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