Oil on canvas signed lower right
The present painting represents the Prince-Président embarked on Le Napoléon "in front of the Cape Sicié and surrounded by the squadron of steam ships that had left Toulon to follow him". Among the four most famous steam ships (La Reine Hortense, le Prony, le Eclaireur and Le Bertollet), Le Napoléon is recognizable by its large white flag, in its center is written a red capital N. A new squadron of boats, commanded by rear admiral Jacquinet, greeted the fleet with three salvos and escorted it to Toulon.The meticulous painting of Léon Morel-Fatio paid homage to the Toulon arsenal and its warships of a new type. Read more
Four months after the official visit to the South, the librarian of the Emperor, Jules Lefevre Deumier passed to the administration the request of Léon Morel-Fatio who was still waiting for the official order to execute the two painted sketches selected by the Emperor in large format. Because the Emperor preferred the painted sketch of the present painting, Léon Morel-Fatio had already started painting An Episode of the official visit of HIH Prince-Président in the South. Left without response from the French Fine Arts Administration since November, the painter decided to exhibit the present painting at the 1853 Paris Salon. That year the Salon des artistes vivants took place, from May 15 to July 15, at the hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs, rue du Faubourg Poissonnière.
An Episode of the official visit of HIH Prince-Président in the South was enrolled under number 850. The mistaken date of the event was printed for the first time in the catalogue of the Paris Salon.
Collection of Emperor Napoleon III, hung in the Ministry of State from 1853 to 1870
Collection of Empress Eugénie until her death in 1920
Collection of Prince Victor Napoléon, head of the Imperial Household, heir to Empress Eugénie, and Princess Clémentine of Belgium
By descent to Lord John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquis of Bute (1933-1993)