The 'Bellerophon' with Napoleon Aboard at Plymouth (26 July–4 August 1815)

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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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. Having stayed good-naturedly long enough to satisfy the curiosity of the ladies on this occasion, he sat down to a writing table and they saw no more of him.

National Maritime Museum



The 'Bellerophon' with Napoleon Aboard at Plymouth (26 July–4 August 1815)




oil on canvas


H 96.5 x W 153.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

National Maritime Museum (Greenwich Hospital Collection)

Work type



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