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Eugène-Charles-François Guérard (1821-66)

Queen Victoria's entry into Paris, 18 August 1855 dated 1855

Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour on buff paper | 34.1 x 49.7 cm | RCIN 920060

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The party arrived at the Gare de Strasbourg (now the Gare de l'Est) from Boulogne, and travelled through the city to Saint-Cloud. They were three hours late arriving into Paris, causing discontentment among the crowds, though none of this is conveyed in this watercolour. The temporary triumphal arch was built by masons, carpenters, joiners and scene painters, and lit by gas lamps. It was described by an onlooker as 'not a temporary structure but a monument intended to stand the wear and tear of ages' (An Englishman in Paris, London 1892, vol. 2, p. 159).

Eugene Guérard trained with the painter Paul Delaroche and regularly exhibited at the Salon. He also worked for the newspaper L'Illustration, which published an illustration very similar to this scene on 19 August 1855. The watercolour was commissioned by the Emperor for the album given to Queen Victoria at Christmas 1855, and presumably relied on the earlier printed illustration.

  • Creator(s)

    Eugène-Charles-François Guérard (1821-66) (artist)

  • 34.1 x 49.7 cm (whole object)

  • Presented to Queen Victoria by Napoleon III, Christmas 1855

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