Portrait of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French

1841
(British, 1784–1869)
Framed: 13.5 x 11.5 cm (5 5/16 x 4 1/2 in.); Unframed: 6.6 x 5 cm (2 5/8 x 1 15/16 in.)
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

Napoleon wears the green uniform of the chasseurs á cheval, including a green coat with a red collar over a white waistcoat and gold epaulets indicating his status as a general.

Description

Unlike fragile portrait miniatures painted in watercolor on vellum or ivory, which are prone to cracking, fading, and flaking, enamels are resilient, impervious to the effects of light, and retain their striking original colors over time. Partly for this reason enamel was considered ideal for reproducing famous paintings and treasured portraits in a reduced and luminous form. The complicated and labor-intensive process of enameling required the artist to fire numerous layers of colored metal oxide at different temperatures. This process made it difficult to produce a faithful portrait likeness, though masters of the medium were able create portraits of remarkable subtlety imbued with the sitter's personality. The desire for portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte helped to create a market for miniatures that William Essex was fueling long after the emperor's death.
Portrait of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French

Portrait of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French

1841

William Essex

(British, 1784–1869)
England, 19th century

Visually Similar Artworks

ArtLens App

Let the ArtLens App be your guide, featuring an interactive map, every artwork on view, and AR scanning. Keep track of your favorite artworks. Take a guided tour, or create your own. 

Download the App
background

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.