The Wallace Collection

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The Divorce of the Empress Josephine
  • Henri-Frédéric Schopin (1804 - 1880)
  • The Divorce of the Empress Josephine
  • France
  • 1846
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 55.8 x 80.5 cm
    Object size: 85 x 109 x 11.5 cm
  • Signature: 'H. Schopin - 1846'
  • P568
  • West Gallery III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1847. The scene depicted took place in the Tuileries Palace on 15 December 1809. Josephine (1763-1814), first wife of Napoleon, has just signed the act of separation which marked the civil dissolution of her marriage. She is accompanied by her daughter, Queen Hortense of Holland (1783-1837), and the act is held by Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès (1753-1824), Arch-Chancellor of the Empire, behind whom stands Michel-Louis-Etienne Regnault de Saint-Jean-d’Angély (1762-1819), Secretary of State to the Imperial Family. To the right of the seated Napoleon stands Josephine’s son, Eugène de Beauharnais (1781-1824), Viceroy of Italy, and behind him Napoleon’s brother-in-law, Joachim Murat (1767-1815), King of Naples. The spectators in the background include (left to right) Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières (1768-1813) holding a chair, Marshal Michel Ney (1769-1815) and the Vice-Grand Elector, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand (1754-1838). Schopin was principally a painter of historical subjects but also exhibited some North African landscapes.