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