- Museum number
- Object: La dernière chûte
One of Post-Waterloo French prints (Nos 12562-12577) arranged and numbered by George before authentic dates were ascertained from De Vinck. Napoleon has fallen from his charger on the field of battle. He lies on his back, his toe still in the stirrup, gazing impassively upwards. Beside him lie his hat and a mask (right), inscribed 'Charlemagne', with the classic features of his own official portraits, and wearing a laurel-wreath. The horse gallops off to the left ; it has a leopard-skin shabraque. In the background (right) is a battle surrounded by clouds of smoke; files of English and French soldiers fire steadily at each other at point-blank range; the space between them is filled by two mounted officers in combat. Below the design:
'Mais au moindre revers funeste,
Le Masque tombe; l'homme reste
Et le héros s'évanouit.
Ode de J. B. Rousseau.'
- Production date
Height: 247 millimetres
Width: 306 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
See No. 12557, &c. Napoleon had posed as the successor of Charlemagne, see No. 10267. Charlemagne's insignia and sword were brought from Aix-la-Chapelle to figure at his coronation, and in his decree of 1809 from Vienna annexing the remainder of the Papal States he cited the example of 'Charlemagne, my august predecessor, Emperor of the French'. Theme and design resemble No. 12238.
Broadley, ii. 77. Hennin, No. 13780.
This print was listed in the 'Bibliographie de France' on 21 October 1815 by Moithey.
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Battle of Waterloo 1815
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number