- Museum number
- Object: A delicate finish to a French usurper.
Napoleon, very ill, sits on a chair of state, resting his head on his hand; a small label hangs just below his lips indicating that he has vomited 'The Throne of France'. His face and hands are a darkish yellow. Above him flies Time, holding the point of an extinguisher (cf. No. 12120) which he is about to place on his head. In the right hand Time holds up an hour-glass. His head and arms (on a larger scale than other figures) and wings emerge from clouds. At Napoleon's right hand stands Blücher, holding a large two-handled goblet inscribed 'Bluchers Black Draught'. He stands at the right end of a line of Allied generals and sovereigns. On the extreme left is Wellington, next him is the Tsar; each rests a hand on his sheathed sword. Next is (?) the Emperor of Austria, with (?) Schwarzenberg [identified as Bernadotte by Grego, but not resembling him] looking over his shoulder. All are dignified and impassive. At Napoleon's feet is a heap of strips of paper, each with its inscription, and all larger than the paper he has just disgorged: 'Holland', 'Moscow', 'Saxony', 'Florence', 'Rome', 'Portugal', 'Vienna' (twice), 'Poland', 'Milan', 'Spain', 'Switzerland', 'Dantzic' (places occupied by his armies). With these lies a spiky crown inscribed 'Tyrant', a laurel-wreath (broken), and a 'main de Justice' (see No. 12247). The arms of Napoleon's chair are formed of skulls on which he supports right elbow and left hand; the skulls rest on ribs. He wears across his uniform a piece of drapery patterned with bees; from this larger bees fly off to the right where in the middle distance three young girls dance hand-in-hand, holding up the Bourbon fleur-de-lis shield. In the background behind these figures a man is ploughing. Below the design:
'Boney Canker of our Joys, Now thy tyrant reign is o'er
Fill the Merry Bowl my Boys join in Bacchanalian roar.
Seize the Villain plunge him in see the hated miscreant dies
Mirth & all thy train come in, Banish Sorrow tears & sighs.'
20 April 1814.
- Production date
Height: 275 millimetres
Width: 423 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
A satire on Napoleon's abdication, combined with the Bourbon restoration, as in No. 12216. Published on the day of Napoleon's departure from Fontainebleau for Elba.
Grego, 'Rowlandson', ii. 281. Broadley, i. 357.
'French' in the title is altered in pen in Rowlandson's hand to 'Corsican', and the plate is so advertised on No. 12267.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number