Napoleon standing next to Pope Pius VII, seated, his right foot resting on a cushion. Engraving by J.H. Robinson, 1848, after D. Wilkie, 1836.
- Wilkie, David, Sir, 1785-1841.
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About this work
"Napoleon and the Pope (exh. RA, 1836; NG Ire.)—an encounter of 1813—was painted for John Marshall, the Leeds linen manufacturer. Restricted to the two figures, 'my largest picture' attracted remarks on matters of detail and on the nature of history painting, but none arising from the politics of the event shown. As surely as the picture of Knox preaching, this was a statement on the conflict between temporal and spiritual power. "-- Oxford dictionary of national biography, s.v. Wilkie. The event shown was the signing of a concordat between France and the Vatican at Fontainebleau in 1813: the Pope had been imprisoned at Fontainebleau and forced to sign the document
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