THE COLLECTION
A Grenadier of the Guard at Elba
  • Horace Vernet (1789 - 1863)
  • A Grenadier of the Guard at Elba
  • France
  • Date: c. 1818–20
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 64.7 x 54.8 cm
  • Object size: 91.5 x 80.5 x 15.5 cm
  • Inv: P367
  • Location: West Gallery III
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Description
Provenance
Marks/Inscriptions
Further Reading
  • Painted in or before 1820 when the painting was engraved, this is a propaganda picture for the Bonapartist cause. Napoleon, seen on the distant cliff, was in exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba from 4 May 1814 to 26 February 1815, when he escaped to France. On Elba, Napoleon was allowed to have his own army of seven hundred men. The grenadier shown here has patched trousers and gaiters made of mattress ticking - details included by Vernet to suggest the hardships endured by Napoleon and his men in exile. The ship in the right background is presumably intended to be 'L’Inconstant' which carried Napoleon back to France. It is not known why Vernet shows the tricolour beside Napoleon the wrong way around.