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Gerard - Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain N070585

Gerard - Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain N070585


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Additional Information

Filename: N070585.jpg

Size: 3740 x 5000 (12.9MB)

Date: 25th August 2009

Source: Historic England

Credit: Historic England Photo Library

Source: English Heritage Images

Job Title: Photographer

© Historic England

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Gerard - Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain N070585

APSLEY HOUSE, London. " Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain" by Baron Francois-Pascal-Simon GERARD (1770-1837). WM 1630-1948. Painting captured by Wellington at Vitoria, 1813

Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places

Media ID 1719917

© Historic England

French Monarchy Painting Spanish


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Fame > Napoleon Bonaparte

> Fine Art > Apsley House paintings

> Fine Art > Royal portraits

> Heritage > English Stately Homes > Apsley House > Portraits at Apsley House

> Waterloo 200 > Peninsular War 200


EDITORS COMMENTS
This striking portrait captures the enigmatic figure of Gerard-Joseph Bonaparte, who reigned as King of Spain from 1808 to 1813. The painting, executed by the renowned French artist Baron Francois-Pascal-Simon Gerard (1770-1837), was commissioned by the Spanish court during the brief period of Bonaparte's rule. Gerard, a brother of the infamous Napoleon Bonaparte, was appointed King of Spain by his brother in an attempt to secure Spanish support for the French invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. However, his reign was marked by resistance and rebellion, culminating in the decisive Battle of Vitoria in 1813, where the British and allied forces under the command of the Duke of Wellington defeated the French army. The painting was captured by Wellington's troops during the battle and later became part of the extensive art collection at Apsley House in London, the residence of the Duke of Wellington. The portrait presents Gerard in regal attire, with an air of confidence and authority. However, the subtle expression on his face suggests a hint of unease or uncertainty, perhaps reflecting the challenges he faced during his reign. The painting is a testament to the complex political dynamics of the time, as well as the artistic skill of Gerard's portraitist. It offers a glimpse into the history of the monarchy in Spain and France during the Napoleonic Wars, a period of great upheaval and change in European history.

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