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Hippolyte Paul Delaroche (1797-1856)

Napoleon at St Helena c. 1855-6

RCIN 404876

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This oil sketch was made forty years after the Battle of Waterloo, in preparation for an enormous painting of Napoleon on St Helena, where he lived in exile from 1815 to 1821. Delaroche has imagined Napoleon marooned on a desolate promontory overlooking the sea, emphasising the remote location of his exile. Although the larger picture was never finished, this preparatory sketch was purchased by Queen Victoria, who was a keen collector of works related to Napoleon, and presented to Prince Albert on his thirty-ninth birthday.