The William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné


Object within Schaaf no. 184

Bust of Napoleon I

Object details

Image size: h 9.5cm x w 7.6cm

Object Type: Salted Paper Print

Mount: small RE mount

Physical description: trace of negative border in the upper left area

Inscription: on verso: Patent Talbotype or Sun Pictures label; in pencil on label: 5; in pencil verso: 1/-

Harrison D. Horblit (HH1846.2)

Owner: Houghton Library, Harvard University

Object owner number: Horblit TypPr 805.T820.063 Sz1

Collection: Harrison D. Horblit Collection Of Early Photography

This object is part of Schaaf no. 184

Bust of Napoleon I

Keywords: sculpture fingerprint

The portrait bust in this photograph by Talbot is of Napoleon I (1769-1821) and is probably a statuette after the original by Antoine-Denis Chaudet (1763-1810).

Chaudet made his original plaster model for the portrait bust of Napoleon in 1799. The final marble version of the bust, made from Chaudet’s original plaster model, dates from 1804 and became the official portrait of Napoleon. As such it was widely-reproduced in different materials and sizes. For example, porcelain versions of the bust were made in three sizes by the Sèvres porcelain factory from 1805. Similarly, around 1,200 marble versions of the portrait bust were carved by the workshops at Carrera between 1807 and 1809. These marble versions were intended for display in public buildings in France, however many of them were destroyed when the Bourbon monarchy was restored in 1814.