Monday, November 25, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: “The First Interview of the Divorced Empress Josephine,” Henrietta Ward, 1870

The First Interview of the  Divorced Empress Josephine
with the King of Rome
Henrietta Ward specialized in tender historical scenes. This painting of the Empress Josephine with the King of Rome was based on this passage from Histoire de Napoleon II by Duc de Reichstadt: “At the sight of this child Josephine experienced profound emotion. She fixed upon him her eyes dimmed with tears... The little Prince returned her affection, and gave himself up, and all the gentleness and amiability of his character... The Emperor heartily thanked Josephine for this testimony of her affection. It was a day of happiness to him.”

The painting, created in 1870, was displayed at The Royal Academy and was recently auctioned at Sotheby’s.

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