Napoleon - An Intimate Portrait

Study for “The King of Rome”

Study for “The King of Rome”

Baron François Gérard - 1812

After a difficult labor, Empress Marie-Louise gave birth to a son, the King of Rome, on March 20, 1811. Napoléon had told the attending doctors that if it became a choice between mother and baby, they should save his wife. He was a doting father who was inordinately proud of his heir. Because his son had French and Austrian blood, Napoléon believed he would reconcile the two countries. Napoléon received the painting for which this drawing was a study while in Russia on September 6, 1812, the day before the Battle of Moskowa. He was very pleased with the portrait and exhibited it in his tent for others to admire. While staying at the Kremlin, he placed the image in his bedroom.

Historical Provenance - Baron François Gérard family collection

Graphite on paper

Images © Chalençon
A Traveling Exhibition from Russell Etling Company (c) 2011