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Napoleon surrendered to Captain Frederick Maitland of the 'Bellerophon', 74 guns, on 15th July 1815. They sailed into Plymouth Sound on Wednesday 26th July where a great many people rowed out to see Napoleon while he was detained on board. The scene in this painting is set at 6.30pm, when Napoleon usually appeared in the gangway to take the air. Contemporary accounts indicate that he obligingly posed for the boats of curious sightseers, including one naval officer who observed that the ex-emperor, dressed in a green coat with red collar and cuffs and gold epaulettes, looked at them with an opera glass for five minutes.
oil on canvas
H 96.5 x W 153.7 cm
National Maritime Museum (Greenwich Hospital Collection)