Drawing from life by Baron Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin depicting Emperor Napoleon III seated in a tent having lunch with officers of the Napoleonic army in Batna, near Constantine, Algeria. Gudin (1802-1880) a French artist, was appointed official painter of the Navy in 1830. He was the official artist of Emperor Napoléon III during his iconic 1865 visit to Algeria, traveling with the Emperor throughout the country and documenting the visit through life sketches like this one.
This drawing comes from a set of four of Gudin’s sketchbooks. It is annotated by Gudin on the lower right. The British Museum holds a drawing from the same set. A very similar scene titled “The Emperor entertained by Arabs in a tent on the road from Constantine to Batna'' was printed in The Illustrated London News on June 24, 1865. The magazine’s artist, M. Mariani, also “attended all the movements of the Imperial traveler” and might have quite likely been representing the same event as our drawing, thereby adding more details to the scene depicted in our sketch by Gudin.
Inscribed on lower right: " "
Medium & Techniques
Graphite, heightened with white chalk, on brown paper