Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings). Napoleon Bonaparte.
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)
Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)

Pen Sketches of Napoleon I (album of original drawings)

Italy: circa 1825. Oblong album, measuring 10.5 x 8 inches: 43 grey card leaves inserted on stubs. Later nineteenth-century dark blue morocco, raised bands, spine compartments elaborately tooled in gilt, boards paneled and tooled in gilt and blind, gilt title to upper board and owner’s monogram “W.F.H.” to lower board, all edges gilt, color-printed floral endpapers, gilt dentelles. Binder’s ticket to verso of front free endpaper: “E Andersen / Roma / Legatore di Libri.” Thirty-nine pen-and-ink and wash drawings over graphite, with black ink borders and captions, measuring 4 x 6 inches, mounted recto and verso to the first twenty leaves. Lightest shelfwear.

Album of dynamic original drawings chronicling the Napoleonic era, with an emphasis on the Italian campaigns. Events depicted include sieges and battles (Mantua, Lodi, Trebbia, Marengo); the signing of treaties (Campo Formio, Tolentino); the deaths of generals (Duphot, Joubert); and the royalist attempt to assassinate Napoleon with a “macchina infernale.” Later scenes include the battles of Wagram, Ligny, and Waterloo, and Napoleon’s exile to St. Helena. The drawings vary in their level of finish: some precise and detailed, others with a more fluid line, but all united by a shared style and graphic weight. An optimistic early bookseller’s note identifies the drawings as the work of Jacques-Louis David, which is certainly not true, but the unknown Italian artist was clearly inspired by neoclassical French history painting. “Fine dalla giornata di Marengo” expands a detail of a battle scene by Carle Vernet (1758-1836), and “Napoleone all’ Isola de Lobau” echoes a painting of Charles Meynier (1768-1832). The drawings were neatly mounted in an album by Andersen, a Roman bindery active in the 1870s and 1880s, known for producing luxury gift books for the tourist trade. Interestingly, the album’s original owner (presumably the “W.F.H.” of the binding’s monogram) did not arrange the scenes chronologically. Rather than follow a historical narrative, the reader leaps from battlefield to town square, dockside to council chamber, flashing back and forward in time, with the iconic figure of Napoleon at the center. The drawings are captioned as follows: [1] Napoleone all’ Isola di Lobau, [2] Morte del Duca de Montebello, [3] Battaglia di Wagram 1809, [4] Resa di Montova 1796, [5] Provera prigioniero 1796, [6] Bonaparte Presidente della Repubblica Italiana, [7] Assassinio del Duca di Bery, [8] Napoleone in Vienna 1809, [9] Napoleone Bonaparte relagato con pochi fuor fidi all’ Isola Sant Elena [10] L’Italia del Secolo XIX [11] Battaglia di Lipsia nel 1813, [12] Feste Solemni in Milano 1797, [13] Trattato di Campo Formio 1797, [14] Uccizione del Generale Duphoth (Duphot) 1798, [15] Magdonald (MacDonald) alla Trebbia 1799, [16] Concordato di Religione, [17] Bonaparte a Parigi 1797, [18] Convenzione di Alessandria 1800, [19] Fine della giornata di Marengo, [20] Consiglio dei Cinquecento 1793, [21] Joubert a Novi e sua Morte 1799, [22] Repubblica Cisalpina 1797, [23] Spoglio degli oggetti d’arte 1796, [24] Trattato di Tolentino 1797, [25] Repubblica di San Marino 1797, [26] Trattato di Luneville, [27] Lusinghe a Dotti e Letterati, [28] Atto di Libertà in Campo Vaccino, [29] Menou nel Piemonte unito alla Franzia, [30] Ingresso in Milano, [31] Bonaparte ordina un Monumento a Marengo, [32] Convenzione Nazionale 1793, [33] Feste in Venezia 1797, [34] Macchina Infernale, [35] Morte del Principe Pouniatoski (Poniatowski) 1813, [36] Battaglia di Waterloo, [37] Battaglia di Ligny, [38] Monumento decretato a Bonaparte, [39] Bonaparte a Ponte di Lodi. A compelling example of historical world-building, in both the early and late nineteenth century.

Price: $20,000.00

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