Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte as First Consul of the French Republic.
33 x 23 cm (sheet size). Gouache on paper. Heightened in gold and silver.
Charming, if amateurish, anonymous representation of Napoleon Bonaparte as Consul, based on reproductions of an original portrait by the general and military painter Louis Albert Guislain Bacler d'Albe (1761-1824). The official engraved version of d'Albe's portrait by Michelangelo Mercoli the younger circulated widely in Europe and was frequently reproduced and varied. In the gouached copy at hand, Napoleon's typical bicorne hat was added, either based on the concrete model or as an original idea of the copyist. This artistically rather unhappy addition is an interesting reminder of the immediate iconicity of Napoleon's hat. The inscription "N. Bonaparte P.er Consul de la République Française" corresponds exactly to Mercoli's print.
Well preserved. With minor tears and browning to the margins.