( The Death of Gerard Duroc,Duc de Frioul)
Paris ca. 1813
145 x 180 mm
Trimmed to image on the left, slight staining.
A rare popular print showing the death of
Géraud Christophe Michel Duroc, 1st Duc de Frioul, a French General serving with Napoleon.
He served in Egypt, and was seriously wounded at Aboukir. His devotion to Napoleon was rewarded by complete confidence. He became first aide-de-camp (1798), general of brigade (1800), and governor of the Tuileries. After the battle of Marengo, he was sent on missions to Vienna, St Petersburg (Russia), Stockholm and Copenhagen.
After the Battle of Austerlitz, where he commanded the grenadiers in the absence of General Oudinot, he was employed in a series of important negotiations with Frederick William III of Prussia, with the elector of Saxony (December 1806), in the incorporation of certain states in the Confederation of the Rhine, and in the conclusion of the armistice of Znaim (July 1809).
In 1808, he was created duc de Frioul: his duchy was made duché grand-fief for his widow in 1813, a rare – but nominal – hereditary honor (extinguished in 1829), created in Napoleon’s own Kingdom of Italy. After the Russian campaign, he became senator (1813).
After the Battle of Bautzen (May 20-21, 1813), the Grande Armée made a slow pursuit of Allied forces. At Reichenbach on the 22nd of May, 1813, a cannonball ricocheted off a tree-trunk, hit Duroc in the stomach, tore open his belly and spilled out his intestines in a gory mess over uniform, saddle and horse, which Napoleon witnessed. Whilst Duroc lay dying inside a farmhouse he requested Napoleon’s presence where he apologised to the Emperor for not being able to serve him further, asked him to be a father to his daughter, and then requested him to withdraw so that he was not present at the moment of death. Napoleon bought the farm and erected a monument to his memory. Duroc was buried in The Invalides (for veterans, in Paris) in 1847. The metro station Duroc of the Paris Métro is named after him.
In the print various officers are standing around the dying Duroc, laying on a camp bed. Napoleon stands by his side taking his hands in his left hand and raising his right hand pointing his finger skywards. The various figures are all numbered on the image with a key below.
The Death of Gerard Duroc, Duc de Frioul.
Anon( The Death of Gerard Duroc, Duc de Frioul)Paris ca. 1813Woodcut.145 x 180 mmTrimmed to image on the left, slight staining.