Pen and black ink and watercolor with graphite; heightened with white gouache on off-white wove paper
Support: Cream wove paper, hinged to decorative multi-ply face mount
Sheet: 32 x 42.3 cm (12 5/8 x 16 5/8 in.); Secondary Support: 44 x 53.2 cm (17 5/16 x 20 15/16 in.)
Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.341
A scenic designer for the Paris Opera, Cicéri created this decoration for a performance celebrating the birthday of Emperor Napoleon’s brother, Jérôme Bonaparte (1784–1860), King of Westphalia, a vassal state of territories taken from Prussia and its allies. Antoine-André Bruguière, named in the inscription as the commissioner of the decoration, was Westphalia’s secretary of the ministry of war and the superintendent of theaters in Kassel, the state’s capital city. The title of the special performance is unknown, but the triumphal arch, Corinthian columns topped with vases, and classical statues all suggest a Roman theme.
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