- Museum number
- Object: The Imperial Coronation.
Napoleon's coronation takes place on a platform surrounded by grenadiers with fixed bayonets, whose fierce heads form the base of the design. The Pope (l.) has let down the crown by a pulley which is fixed to the end of a gibbet inscribed 'Patrick Death Patent Gibbett Maker to his Imperial Majesty, The Emperor of all the Gulls [see BMSat 10247].' He says: "In a little time you shall see him - And in a little time you shall not see him." The crown, which rests on Napoleon's head, is so heavy that the wearer sinks to the waist through the boards of the platform, which break under the weight. The Emperor holds out his arms despairingly, crying, "My dear Tallerand [sic] save me my Throne is giving way - I am afraid the Foundation is rotten, and wants a cursed deal of mending." Talleyrand stoops towards the disappearing Emperor, saying, "Ah - Master - Master - the Crown is too heavy for you." Below the Pope stands an elderly priest (half length), saying to Napoleon: "You forgot your Old Uncle - the New Bishop - if you had made me Pope, I shoud have let the crown down easier". A draped canopy is sketched above the figures.
In the background (r.) a simian coronation is in progress. An ape is enthroned on a high canopied platform. It holds sceptre and orb. An ap-bishop puts the crown on its head, another watches benevolently. Ape-grenadiers surround the platform. 31 July 1804
- Production date
Height: 286 millimetres
Width: 398 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
An anticipation of the coronation, see BMSat 10362, &c. Cardinal Fesch, Napoleon's uncle, was only six years older than his nephew. It was his difficult part to secure the Pope's presence.
Grego, 'Rowlandson', ii. 44-6. Broadley, i. 221.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number