- Museum number
- Object: Blucher the brave extracting the groan of abdication from the Corsican blood hound.
Blücher stands on the shore, directed to the left, holding out at arm's length, and by the scruff of the neck, an animal (as much like a fox as a dog) with the head of Napoleon. The Emperor, in profile to the left, wears his petit chapeau, and gauntlet gloves, so that he has human hands. In a heap at Blücher's feet lie Napoleon's discarded uniform, crown, sceptre, sword, and an eagle. Along the shore runs an officer shouting in terror, his arms raised above his head. Near him a small boat with sail and oars lies at the edge of the water; a man climbs in with a sack on his shoulder inscribed '20.000 a year'. On the horizon is a small island, 'Island of Elba', above which fly carrion birds.
On the right in the middle distance is another scene; a closely packed group of royalists and allied soldiers, in front of which stands Louis XVIII, with clasped hands, while a man places a crown on his head; Talleyrand, wearing a long gown, and with a surgical shoe on his right foot, obsequiously proffers a paper: 'A List of Ministers for your Majesty's Approbation'. Behind Talleyrand is a bishop with a crosier, and wearing a mitre which suggests a papal tiara. A woman holding up a laurel-wreath stands on the right. Behind these figures appear the heads of mounted soldiers and hands waving hats. The whole group is dominated by large white flags, the most prominent covered with fleur-de-lis and inscribed 'Restoration of Louis XVIII'. There is also an Austrian (or Russian) flag.
Plate numbered 322.
9 April 1814.
- Production date
Height: 266 millimetres
Width: 405 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
News that Napoleon had agreed (6 Apr.) to abdicate (see No. 12482), and to retire to Elba (the proposal of the Tsar) reached London on 9 Apr.; the print may therefore be ante-dated, or the Elba detail added later. The treaty of abdication at Fontainebleau was signed on 11 Apr. See No. 12237; cf. No. 12256. The rapid acceptance of a Bourbon restoration (cf. No. 12227.) was largely due to Talleyrand, see No. 12225. Louis XVIII was detained in England by gout and did not enter Paris till 3 May, see No. 12266, &c. For the banishment to Elba see also Nos. 12204 B, 12219, 12221, 12222, 12223, 12225, 12226, 12235, 12243, 12244, 12245, 12256, 12257, 12262, 12276, 12281. For Napoleon in Elba see No. 12229, &c.
The design is adapted from a plate by Terebenef: [Text in Russian], [Shepherd and Wolf] (reproduced, Bourguignon, ii. 200). Blücher replaces a Russian peasant (the Tsar), Napoleon is closely copied. The Tsar shows that Napoleon is a wolf in the guise of a liberator. The fugitive officer (left) is closely copied; two similar fugitives (right) are replaced by the group round Louis XVIII. Crown, eagle, and sword have been replaced by Napoleon's discarded uniform. The landscape background is altered.
Grego, 'Rowlandson', ii. 278. Broadley, i. 351. De Vinck, No. 8978. Milan, No. 2656. Reproduced, Grand-Carteret, 'Napoléon', No. 292.
See frontispiece for the title.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number