Sculpture by Alexandre Brachard (1775-1843) and Jean-Jacques Oger (1759-1842) after Henri Joseph Rutxhiel (1775-1837).
With the original mould destroyed, this version is the only example remaining. The story, according to the Princess Canino, Lucien Bonaparte's widow, goes that this particular bust originally sat in the emperor's bedroom at Longwood. In 1842, the princess gave the bust to the Comte de Chaumont-Quitry.
Numerous plaster copies were made of the bust, which the Marquise de Montesquiou - who owned a marble version - considered extremely life-like. Of these is currently held in the Musée de Fontainebleau, on loan from the sculpture department of the Louvre.
Rutxthiel was commissioned by Madame de Montesquiou to produce fifty busts of the Roi de Rome.
The German sculptor Philippe Jacob Treu (1761-1825) would also complete, in 1812, a number of busts of the young child.
Claudette Joannis (tr. H.D.W.)
Original French text taken from the exhibition catalogue that accompanied "Jouets de princes".
Find out more about Napoleon's heir in our close-up on: the birth of the Roi de Rome.