Boney returning from Russia covered with glory - leaving his army in comfortable winter quarters

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Charles Williams
1796-1866
Boney returning from Russia covered with glory - leaving his army in comfortable winter quarters
Peel 1960
Provenance: 
Formerly owned by Sir Robert Peel.
Notes: 

Lettered "Pubd Jany 1st 1813 by S Wm Fores N° 50 Piccadilly corner of Sackville St."
Library's copy trimmed within plate mark.

Summary: 

Napoleon travels in an open sledge, drawn by two horses, which gallop, though lean and exhausted. He sits facing one of his generals with writing-materials between them on a small stool; both have gloomy expressions. The officer, holding out a pen, asks: "Will your Majesty write the Bulletin?" Napoleon: "No! you write it! tell them we left the Army all well, quite gay in excellent Quarters, plenty of provisions--that we travelled in great style,--recieved every where with congratulations--and that I have almost compleated the repose of Europe." An officer drives, standing on the runners; he has a whip with an enormously long, heavy, and knotted lash. The sledge is surrounded with dead or dying French soldiers, some covered by snow. In the foreground (left) two starving men cut up the carcase of a horse. A soldier, leaning against the snow-covered body of a horse, looks up to say: "Ah Sire! so dat John Bull says! I wish I could have some repose I'm tired of Glory." Snow is piled thickly on his cocked hat, as it is on the hats of those in the sledge. A soldier wearing a cavalry helmet stands in snow, with flexed knees and clasped hands, looking with dismay after the departing sledge. In the middle distance bodies of men and horses are scattered over the snow-covered ground, while in the distance (right) Cossacks pursue fleeing soldiers. A waste of snow is indicated, and snow-flakes fill the sky. After the title: 'Nap and Joe, from France would go, / To fill the World with Slaughter, / Joe fell down, and broke his Crown, / And Nap came tumbling after.'

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