- Museum number
- Object: Scene in a new pantomime to be performed at the Theatre Royal Paris.
Below the title: 'With entire New Music, Dances, Dresses, Scenery, Machinery &c &c. The principle Characters to be supported by most of the great Potentates in Europe, Harlequin by Mr Napoleon, Clown by King Wirtemberg, Pantaloon Emperor of Austria. To conclude with a Comic Song to be sung by the Pope and a Grand Chorus by the Crown'd Heads. Vivant Rex et Regina'. The scene is the throne-room in the Tuileries, indicated by a part of the throne on its dais on the extreme right, on which are the (discarded) throne and sceptre, and by a large whole length portrait of Louis XVIII, scowling and caricatured, inscribed 'Louis le Bien Aimé'. Napoleon as Harlequin (as in Nos. 10060, 12515), in parti-coloured tights, a dagger in each hand, leaps through an opening cut in the canvas, hounded by the monarchs of Europe. The portrait (right) shows the fat king holding orb and sceptre, with eyes closed or downcast. The canvas from waist to knees of the portrait is cut neatly away, leaving the King's gouty feet resting squarely on a footstool. Just behind Harlequin is the fat King of Würtemberg on his knees (and paunch) firing a pair of pistols at the fugitive. Across his posterior is the word 'Clown'. Beside him Ferdinand of Spain falls backwards, overbalanced by an attempt to kick ; his crown falls off and he flourishes a sword. He is identified by his slashed doublet, cloak, and flapped boots. Behind (left) a fat powerful Cossack, representing Russia, prods Napoleon with his long spear. He wears a fur cap, trousers tucked into his boots, and has a pair of pistols in his belt. Farther back is the Emperor of Austria wearing a wallet inscribed 'Pantaloon'. He is bearded, slippered, spectacled, and lean, wearing a crown and a dressing-gown. He shuffles forward with clenched fists, holding a dagger. On the extreme left is the Pope, wearing a mitre and holding a headsman's axe against his shoulder. Other figures are nearer the wall which forms a background. Foremost of these is the King of Prussia, close behind Napoleon and firing a blunderbuss. Next is the grotesque Dutchman who stands for the new King of Holland, smoking a pipe, and firing a musket with a fiercely intent expression. Three unidentified crowned heads, and a sharp profile ( ? Bernadotte) with bayonets and spear, and an arm holding up a spiked club make up the crowd of attackers. One of the monarchs takes down from the wall (or hangs up) a three-quarter length portrait of 'Columbine', a young woman with a feathered hat and plump arms held akimbo. She is either Marie Louise (as in No. 12515), or, according to Broadley, the Duchesse d'Angoulême, an identification supported by the position of her portrait in the same room as that of Louis XVIII.
12 April 1815.
- Production date
Height: 255 millimetres
Width: 357 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
On 13 March the Allies at Vienna issued a declaration that, in violating the Convention which established him at Elba, Bonaparte had placed himself outside the protection of the law. On 25 March it was agreed by the Treaty of Chaumont that Great Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria should each put 150,000 men in the field, Britain being at liberty to substitute money for men at a fixed rate. The Prince of Orange had at once taken steps to have the border fortresses put in repair. Wellington reached Brussels on 4 Apr. For the reception of the news at Vienna see 'Croker Papers', iii. 233 f.; Stanhope, 'Conversations with Wellington', 1938, p. 25 f.; H. Nicolson, 'The Congress of Vienna', 1946, pp. 227-30. See also Nos. 12506, 12515, 12518, 12519, 12522, 12525; for the Congress see No. 12453, &c.
Grego, 'Rowlandson', ii. 292. Broadley, i. 378 f. De Vinck, No. 9410. Reproduced, Grand-Carteret, 'Napoléon', No. 341.
- Not on display
- Associated names
Associated with: Alexander I, Tsar of Russia
Associated with: Marie Thérèse Charlotte de France, Madame Royale, Duchess of Angoulême
Associated with: Karl XIV Johan, King of Sweden and Norway (Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte)
Associated with: Frederick I, King of Württemberg
Associated with: Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and Francis I, Emperor of Austria
Associated with: Frederick William III, King of Prussia
Associated with: Louis XVIII, King of France
Associated with: Marie Louise, Empress of the French and Duchess of Parma
Associated with: Napoléon I, Emperor of the French
Associated with: Pope Pius VII
Associated with: William I, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxemburg
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number