Lithograph with very large margins. Sheet 444 x 596mm (17½ x 23½").
Napoleon and Josephine visiting the studio of David. There was great fanfare when David announced the completion of his picture. The royal couple, accompanied by a large entourage from the court, made a special visit to the artist's studio to see the work on 4 January 1808. It was an official display of royal patronage with music and a cavalry escort for the parade of carriages. Pleased with David's work and overwhelmed by the realism of the enormous canvas, Napoleon exclaimed, "What truth! This is not a painting, I can walk in it!" Surrounded by his court and all those assembled, the emperor continued: "Well done, David, very well done! You have correctly guessed my own intention in representing me as a French knight [chevalier français]. I am grateful to you for having given future generations proof of my affection for the woman with whom I share the burdens of government." Published in A.V. Arnault's 'Vie politique et militaire de Napoléon', Paris, 1822-1826.
[Ref: 30816] £320.00