These two vases were given by Napoleon in 1812 to his younger brother, Jérôme, King of Westphalia, whose marble bust is exhibited nearby. One of the painted scenes depicts Napoleon with his wife Marie-Louise riding in a carriage in front of the château of Saint-Cloud; the other shows him hunting in the hills near the château. The vases are notable for their large scale, the highly-detailed gilding, and the ground color that imitates tortoiseshell. When Jérôme’s daughter, Mathilde, married the celebrated collector Anatole Demidoff in 1840, the vases were acquired by her husband, who also owned the enormous malachite vase displayed in this gallery.
Signature: The reserve signed: Robert
Marking:  D L (incised in script with three dots between each letter);  9 over two slashes/ R/No 4 (incised)
Commissioned by Napoléon Bonaparte ; For Jerôme Bonaparte (delivered in 1812) ; Prince Anatole Demidov , husband of Jerome's daughter Mathilde (in 1840) ; [ his sale, Prince Anatole Demidov , Villa of San Donato, 1880, lot 122 ] ; [ Fabius Frères (1972–2011; their sale, Sotheby's, Paris, October 26–27, 2011, lot 178; sold to MMA)