The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Napoleon's Tomb
  • Horace Vernet (1789 - 1863)
  • Napoleon's Tomb
  • France
  • 1821
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 54 x 80.5 cm
    Object size: 85 x 111 x 14.5 cm
  • Signature: 'H. Vernet 1821.'
    Inscription: 'RIVOLI / PIRAMIDES / MARENGO / AUSTERLITZ / JENA / WAGRAM / MOSCOWA / MONTMIRAIL / LIGNY / WAT…'
  • P575
  • West Gallery III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • A version with minor variations of a painting (now untraced) which Vernet produced immediately after learning in July 1821 of Napoleon’s death on the island of St. Helena two months earlier (on 5 May). The Wallace Collection’s painting was completed by October of the same year. Napoleon’s grave was by a narrow stream, but Vernet places it dramatically on a promontory by the sea, with the wreckage of a ship inscribed with the names of the Emperor’s most important battles. General Charles-Tristan Montholon (1783-1853) and General Henri-Gatien Bertrand (1773-1844) with his family, who were present on St. Helena, console one another, while the cloud-borne mourners in the right background include some of Napoleon’s dead Marshals.