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The Empress Joséphine
  • Date: 1814
  • Object Type: Miniature
  • Medium: Watercolour on ivory
  • Image size: 11.2 x 8.8 cm
  • Inv: M288
  • Location: West Gallery III
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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.