General Napoleon Bonaparte Portrait Bust, 1880
General Napoleon Bonaparte Portrait Bust, 1880
General Napoleon Bonaparte Portrait Bust, 1880
General Napoleon Bonaparte Portrait Bust, 1880
General Napoleon Bonaparte Portrait Bust, 1880
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General Napoleon Bonaparte Portrait Bust, 1880

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Height overall: 43cm (16.9in)

 

Patinated bronze. Portrait bust of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) in high collared uniform coat with his hair worn long in the manner favoured until the Egypt Expedition of 1798 Raised on a square ormolu mounted Verde Antico marble stepped base, applied with the sword (authority) and the wreath (victory) motifs of republican France.

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The present bust is based accords with images of the General Bonaparte at the time he was conquering Italy in the name of the French Revolution. Moreover it sits comfortably with the descriptions left by contemporaries. The statesman and scholar, Comte Miot de Mélito, recorded “… In the middle of a number of Staff officers I noticed a man under middle height, of extraordinary leanness. His unpowdered hair, cut square beneath the ears in a most peculiar fashion, fell down over his shoulders. He wore a loose coat buttoned up to the neck, edged with narrow gold braiding … At first sight his face did not appear handsome, but the strongly pronounced features and ardent, scrutinizing eyes, combined with his sudden, impulsive movements, betokened a determined character, while his broad forehead declared the deep thinker.” The son of General Würstemberger, who accompanied Napoleon through Switzerland after Camp Formio in 1797, wrote: "Bonaparte was rather slight and emaciated-looking; his face, too, was very thin, with a dark complexion. His profile was very prominent. His looks and expression were earnest and powerful; his black, unpowdered hair hung down evenly over both shoulders in wide, lengthy tresses-oreilles de chien [dog's ears], as one says-and was gathered into a rather flattened pigtail reaching to the middle of his narrow back.”