The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Empress Joséphine
  • Fedinand Paul J. Louis Quaglia (1780 - 1853)
  • The Empress Joséphine
  • France
  • 1814
  • Miniature
  • Watercolour on ivory
  • Image size: 11.2 x 8.8 cm
  • Signature: 'Quaglia / 1814'
    Inscription: 'Joh Bach'
  • M288
  • West Gallery III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This is one of Quaglia's finest works. It shows Josephine four years after her divorce from Napoleon, but nevertheless she is shown wearing a sumptuous court dress in white and gold, while the rich red cloak and ermine further proclaim her exalted status, as do her magnificent jewels. As large pearls were more valuable than diamonds she has been painted with a fortune displayed on her imposing person. Her pose, more characteristic of an artist than a sitter of her social eminence, suggests thought or inspiration, perhaps in reference to her devotion to the arts.