- Museum number
- Object: La Restitution, ou chaqu'un son compte
The figures have numbers referring to the words engraved below the design. They are identified in pen in a contemporary hand. The Tsar stands directed slightly to the left in the centre of a large dais, between Louis XVIII (left) and Napoleon (right), who is still seated in a chair of state. Napoleon, supported by Wellington, is vomiting a map of the last remnants of his empire (cf. No. 12276). His chair is decorated by an imperial eagle clutching thunderbolts, but head downwards, and surmounted by three fleurs-de-lis. Alexander, '5', has just handed a crown to Louis, saying, "Acceptez toujour [sic] ceci vous prendrez le reste après." Louis, '4': "Mais pourtant cela doit être à moi"; he points to the map that Napoleon disgorges. He is in profile to the right, and is flatteringly depicted, without obesity. Napoleon, '6', says: "Grace à vous je n'ai plus rien." Wellington, '7' (identified as 'l'angleterre'), answers: "Depuis longtems j'y travaillais." The map consists of 'Pays Bas' (which the Emperor of Austria is detaching for himself), 'Picardie' and 'Champagne' [which Alexander is about to tear off], 'Bourgogne', and 'Paris', on all of which are crossed swords representing one or more battles, with 'Normandie', 'Bretagne', and 'Dauphiné'. Napoleon's epaulets and sword lie on the ground.
On the ground before the dais are three sovereigns: on the extreme left Ferdinand VII, '1', walks off in profile to the left, with a large fragment of map, the Iberian peninsula on which are marked 'Portugal, Asturies, Biscaye, Estramadure, Castille, Catalogne, Valence, Grenade'. He wears Spanish costume: feathered cap, cloak, ruff, and slashed doublet. He says: "Elle est en bien Mauvais etat." The King of Prussia, '2', stoops in profile to the right to pick up a tiny castle inscribed 'Erfurt'. He holds another castle, and from his pocket project a church spire and two towers inscribed 'Rosbach', with a rolled map of 'Suisse'; the contour of a cannon is faintly sketched on the pocket. He says: "Ou l'on trouve son bien on le prend." The Emperor of Austria, '3', kneels in profile to the left, holding the edge of a wide-mouthed sack which he has filled with spoil. On it cannon, &c., are faintly traced, as if the sack were transparent. It contains a town represented by a castle and spire, large wagons, three rolled maps: 'Baviere', 'Italie', and 'Saxce' [sic], while a fragment from Napoleon's map hangs over the side: 'Milan' and 'Parme'. Two other rolled documents are in his pocket: 'Piemont' and 'Venise'. He says, as he takes the Low Countries, "il Me faut encore Ceci." More of Napoleon's map lies on the ground, a large fragment at Alexander's feet: 'Pologne' between 'Cracovie' and 'Warzovie' in the north and 'Mnt Crapaes' [? Carpathes] in the south. Another fragment, perhaps attached to this one, lies between Alexander and Francis: 'Konisberg', 'Dantzig', and 'Grodno'.
This scene is bounded on the right by a wooden partition in which are a door behind Napoleon's seat, and a small window behind Francis. Through the latter peers in Murat, '8', extravagantly dressed as was his custom. He wears uniform, short tunic, long tight pantaloons with bows at the knees, short wrinkled boots with wide tops ; his fantastic biretta-like hat with a tall plume is on the ground. He holds a document inscribed 'Sicile', while another inscribed 'Naples' falls from his hand. He says: "Voyons ce qu'ils me laisseront." From the door above, inscribed 'Porte de Derrière', Cambacérès, '11', globular in contour, walks off to the right, holding a large paper: 'Démission Par Suite [d'adh]ésion'. He is followed by a smaller man of similar shape, who holds the coat-tails of his leader, and carries a similar paper: 'Cuisiniere Bourgeoise des Confitures'. He is '10', d'Aigrefeuille. Beside him and holding the bag-wig of Cambacérès is '9', tall, thin, and inconspicuous, not identified, but evidently Villefeuille. These three say respectively: "Suivez moi je Connais Cette porte"; "Mais de quel Côté"; "Allons nous en avant que l'on nous le dise."
- Production date
Height: 235 millimetres
Width: 329 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
The words of Cambacérès (see No. 9509), who was arch-chancellor and president of the Senate, show that the date of the print is after 9 Apr. 1814, when he adhered to the acts of the Senate deposing Napoleon and then retired to private life. He, d'Aigrefeuille, who was small, round, and fat, and Villefeuille, tall and thin, were a trio of inseparable gourmands well known in Paris during the Empire and Restoration. The print reflects the uncertainty as to the rearrangement of Europe and the commanding position of Alexander in Paris, as well as his demands for Poland, but is not otherwise well informed. It was already certain that the Netherlands would not return to Austria (C. K. Webster, 'Congress of Vienna', 1934, p. 21), and that country's possible acquisitions are exaggerated. Ferdinand had no prospect of getting Portugal. The independence of Switzerland had been agreed upon. 'Rosbach' seems to connote the great Prussian victory over France of 1757: Napoleon in 1806 ordered the column commemorating the battle to be removed to France. 'Moniteur', 27 Oct. 1806; De Vinck, Nos. 8257-8. Erfurt (cf. No. 12202) had been given to Prussia in 1802, seized by Napoleon in 1806, and was returned in 1814. Murat had never reigned in Sicily; by a treaty with Austria in Jan. 1814 he remained King of Naples (till 1815, see No. 12519). See also No. 12276, &c.
Listed by Broadley. Hennin, No. 13626. De Vinck, No. 9335. Van Stolk, No. 6276. Reproduced, Dayot, 'Napoléon', p. 329.
The date of the 'dépôt légal' is not recorded. Dorothy George gives a long commentary on the print.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number