Station: [7] Napoleon on horseback

Images of Napoleon on horseback were more frequent in the paintings of battles than in individual portraits. Of the three equestrian portraits made under the Consulate, that of Jacques-Louis David "Napoleon Crossing the Alps”, left strong imprints in the collective memory and overshadowed most other equestrian portraits made during the reign of Napoleon. Reprinted five times by the artist and his workshop, it is the subject of numerous copies and engravings that are widely disseminated.

We present several varieties of figures based on this painting in our first showcase. Many other equestrian portraits were made during the empire, most with the emperor in his gray overcoat, while others show him in his favorite uniform, the green coat of the Guard Chasseurs.

Our model however gives a portrait of Napoleon in the dark blue uniform of a colonel of the Guard Grenadiers that he wore most often at reviews and parades in the capital.

The figure of Pierre Lefebvre is carved in wood and dressed with fine fabric, leather and wire.

In this small size it is a remarkable craftsmanship. Up to the last decades of the twentieth century many French artists were working with these materials, but usually in much larger sizes.