Eugénie, Empress of the French (1826-1920); Prince Victor Napoléon (1862-1926); Prince Louis Napoléon (1914-1997)
Wraxhall & Wehrhan, Memoirs of Queen Hortense, London, 1862
‘Neither a duchy of Genoa, nor a kingdom of Italy, can tempt me to treason … I would sooner be an honest soldier than a treacherous prince. ‘The Emperor’, you say, ‘has wronged me’. If so, I have forgotten it. I only remember his kindness. Everything I possess or am, I owe to him; my rank, my titles, my fortune, and above all, what you kindly call my glory. Therefore, I am determined to serve him as long as I live … May my sword shiver in my hand if I ever draw it against the Emperor or my native country’ (Memoirs of Queen Hortense, pp. 285-6). So Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy, wrote to Alexander, Emperor of Russia, when he offered the Viceroy the duchy of Genoa if he were to leave Napoléon’s cause and join the opposition. Eugène’s loyalty and affection would under no circumstances permit this. The feeling was mutual: Napoléon considered Eugène to be the most capable member of his family and had officially adopted the son of his first wife Empress Joséphine, on 12 January 1806. Eugène did not become heir to the imperial throne but was declared Heir presumptive to the Kingdom of Italy in February 1806, after Napoleon had been crowned King of Italy on 7 June 1805 and had appointed Eugène Viceroy of Italy to the Italian Legislative Assembly.
Some light dusty mould and dust on the surface (easily removed). Gum arabic has cracked in background and dark hair highlights but not critically. Frame in good order. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."