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Invalid Giving a Petition to Napoleon during the Guard's Parade in Front of the Tuileries Palace in Paris

1838

Horace Vernet

Oil on canvas

The picture was ordered in July 1838 by Emperor Nicholas I who paid to the painter 25000 livres. There is a legend about the picture "Invalid Giving a Petition to Napoleon during the Guard's Parade in Front of the Tuileries Palace in Paris" telling that Nicholas I said "I will keep this picture in my study. I want to have the Empire Guard always in front of my eyes because it could have defeated us".

The picture is likely to represent one of the parades of 1808 - 1809 with a lot of generals of Napoleon army, among them are Duroc and Lasalle, Lannes and Murat, Ney and Brune, Bessieres and Berthier, Andoche Junot and Eugene Beauharnais, Mortier and Dorsenne, Combes and Lefebvre-Desnouettes. The subject of the "Parade in Tuileries" attracted French artists. Carle Vernet - father and teacher of Horace, Thomas-Charles (?) Nodet, later Hippolyte Bellange turned to it. Horace Vernet though managed to create the best picture on the subject among his precursors and followers.

In Wallace Gallery (London) a grisaille for the engraving from the Hermitage painting is kept. It corresponds to the original in all details.

For many years this canvas was kept in the depository of the State Hermitage and some art critics thought it was lost . The exhibition "Realms of the Eagle. Empire Style" is practically the first occasion when this picture is being exhibited.

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