THE COLLECTION
Napoleon's Tomb
  • Date: 1821
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 54 x 80.5 cm
  • Object size: 85 x 111 x 14.5 cm
  • Inv: P575
  • Location: West Gallery III
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Description
Provenance
Marks/Inscriptions
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.