- Museum number
- Object: Old Blucher beating the Corsican Big Drum.
Blücher, legs astride and arms raised, fills the centre of the design. Slung from his neck by a sash is Napoleon, horizontally suspended, shrieking with terror and pain, his posterior (left) bared, jack-boots on his bare legs. With immense vigour Blücher raises a birch-rod inscribed 'Blucher Drum Stick'; in his left hand is a heavy club: 'Schwarzenberg Drum Stick'. He wears uniform with orders, and high boots and a leather apron: his left foot is planted on Napoleon's broken sword. On the ground at his feet is an open music-book: 'The Downfall of Paris'. His cocked hat lies on the left, Napoleon's, a bicorne, on the right. In the middle distance behind Blücher a confused fight under the walls of Paris is in progress: unsoldierly Frenchmen, freely sketched, are put to flight by a few German soldiers (right). One kneels in supplication on the high canvas tilt of a wagon. Behind (left) are the castellated walls of 'Paris'; an Austrian with a double-eagle flag, and a Russian with an axe stand behind the battlements.
8 April 1814.
- Production date
Height: 255 millimetres
Width: 385 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
During the final battle for Paris, 30 Mar., Napoleon was hastening towards the city to command the defence; on news of the surrender (by his brother Joseph) he went to Fontainebleau. See Caulaincourt, 'Memoirs', ii, 1938, pp. 48-61. Schwarzenberg was in command of the Allied Army. For the fall of Paris see also Nos. 12213, 12215. For the 'Big Drum' theme cf. Nos. 12274, 12571.
Reid, No. 309. Cohn, No. 1800. Broadley, i. 351.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number