Large Empire-style engraving depicting Napoleon's death on St. Helena in 1821, based on a work by Baron Charles Steuben produced between 1825 and 1830. The work is presented in its original frame, with palmettes and laurel wreaths, in the Empire style and from the Restoration period (circa 1830).
The Fondation Napoléon gives an excellent description of this work, which we reproduce here:
"On Saturday May 5, 1821, at 5:49 p.m., at Longwood House on the island of St. Helena, "the most powerful breath of life that ever animated human clay" (Chateaubriand) died. It was this historic moment that Steuben sought to immortalize in a painting that has since become the official representation of the scene. In another famous composition, painted around 1825-1830, Steuben gave a highly realistic vision of Napoleon on St. Helena dictating his memoirs to General Gourgaud. The same realism prevails in the evocation of the Emperor's death, a far cry from Horace Vernet's Le songe de Bertrand or L'Apothéose de Napoléon, painted in the same year, which heralded the long series of allegories of the Helena, or the celebration of the martyr's cult.
The painting was conceived with a concern for accuracy, intended to render the scene as faithfully as possible. On their return to France, the painter interviewed all his fellow captives and had them pose for their portraits. Only Abbé Vignali, Captain Crokat and Dr. Arnott have been portrayed from memory. Grand Marshal Bertrand drew sketches showing the layout of the room and the location of furniture and people. By gathering their memories and offering their features to the painter, everyone seems to have wanted to contribute to this work of collective memory destined for posterity."
A large-format, highly-furnished work in excellent condition. The etching has been cleaned in an acid bath to recover its original whiteness. Very fine, very clean, beautiful frame with fine gold gilding, cleaned by our gilder.
Height : 97cm
7 200 €