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  • Posts Tagged ‘AUGUSTUS EARLE’


    Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
    Augustus Earle (1793-1838) (Attributed. – Napoleon’s Grave on St. Helena. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This painting of Napoleon’s Grave, on the island of St. Helena, can be attributed to the British artist Augustus Earle and comes up as lot 773 at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth Fine Art sale in Castlecomer on November 14 and 15. Within this depiction of a verdant valley, there is a hidden message. Two tall trees in the foreground are painted so as to form an outline or silhouette of the Emperor, standing with his arms folded and wearing his classic bicorn hat. The silhouette is based on the 1820 watercolour by Francois-Joesph Sandmann – Napoléon a Sainte-Hélene. With its hidden image, this painting is a coded work of art, designed to avoid British censors who would have disapproved of any glorification of Napoleon.

    The oil on canvas depicts a wooded valley, with, at its centre, a gravestone inscribed with a cross. A wooden fence surrounds the grave, while beyond can be seen the gable end of a small house. In the distance, there is a glimpse of the sea, and a sailing ship. The artist, who travelled to South America, Australia and New Zealand in the 1820’s, has emphasised the abundant flora and fauna of St. Helena. The tall trees in the foreground may be Cabbage trees, a species native to the island now almost extinct. The estimate is €6,000-€8,000.