Set of four etchings with aquatint, each c.265 x 370mm. 10½ x 14½".
A chronological series depicting Napoleon Bonaparte's final days before his exile to Elba, and then his triumphant return to France during the 'Hundred Days' in 1815. In the first plate Napoleon stands at the centre of the courtyard of the Palace of Fontainebleau and bids farewell to his tearful Old Guard. In the second the Old Guard decide to burn their battle flags and eagles and to drink the ashes after mingling them with some wine. The third plate witnesses a rapturous reception for Napoleon on the streets of Grenoble upon his return to France; the final plate sees a peasant woman falling at the feet of Napoleon outside her house in the 'barrière de Charonne', Paris, which the Emperor visited on 7 May 1815. Aware of rumours he was about to be banished to a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean, Napoleon escaped from Elba on 26 February 1815. He landed at Golfe-Juan on the French mainland, two days later. The 5th Regiment was sent to intercept him and made contact just south of Grenoble on 7 March 1815. Napoleon approached the regiment alone, dismounted his horse and, when he was within gunshot range, shouted, 'Here I am. Kill your Emperor, if you wish.' The soldiers responded with, 'Vive L'Empereur!' and marched with Napoleon to Paris; Louis XVIII fled. Description below images. Published by Aaron Martinet (1762 - 1841).
[Ref: 12246] £240.00