These two miniatures are part of the Portland Collection, originally at Welbeck Abbey, being exhibited The Harley Gallery on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire until 30 September 2017. Miniatures were very fashionable in those days and the likeness of Napoleon matches other miniatures of the time.
The miniature of Empress Josephine is interesting and of course raises the sad story. Napoleon was infatuated with Josephine and his feelings were reciprocated but despite much affection and a tempestuous relationship the marriage was dissolved because Napoleon was desperate for an heir, his grandson through Josephine’s daughter Hortense, having died young and she was unable to have further children.
He then married Marie Louise of Austria by whom he had a son named the Prince of Rome.
Hidden From View: The 5th Duke of Portland’s Art Collection is at The Harley Gallery until September 30th 2017. See the website for more details.