Friday, 20 September 2013

Images of Napoleon on St Helena 1818-1821

NAPOLEON I two months before his death, sketched from the life by the English Naval Captain Maryat [sic]

I have in the past posted some images of Napoleon made after his death. I thought it might be interesting to display these lesser known images of him made made by Englishmen on the island in the later years of his captivity.

Napoleon 1820, from drawing made by Captain Henry Duncan Dodgin of 66th Regiment

I have serious doubts about the very unflattering portrait with the German inscription, allegedly painted by Captain Marryat in 1821. Napoleon ventured out so little in the weeks before his death that it would have been near impossible to have made an accurate sketch of him, and I would be surprised if he ever willingly posed for one of his captors.

Napoleon 1818, painting by Basil Jackson

I also wonder if there was not a certain amount of conscious or unconscious copying by the various artists.

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