Publisher Information: London: Thomas Tegg, 1810.
[Rowlandson, Thomas (1757-1827).] The first night of my wedding. Or little Boney no match for an arch dutchess. Hand-colored etching. London: Thos. Tegg, 25 April 1810. 325 x 238 mm. Small tear in one corner not affecting image, light dust-soiling but very good.
Bawdy hand-colored etching by one of England’s best-known Regency-era caricaturists, lampooning Napoleon’s second marriage, at the age of 41, to 19-year-old Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma. The image shows the couple sprawled on a bed after a clearly unsuccessful attempt to consummate their union: Napoleon clutches his head, saying “Mort de ma vie I must, I must brush off to Compiegne [one of his residences], and order seperate [sic] beds,” while the saucy Marie Louise, one foot on a “Portable Water Closet,” declaims, “Still says sly Old Hodge says he, Great talkers ‘as the least, d’ye see, Well well there’s one hope left, I shall quickly carry him to his Journey’s end.” A table next to the bed holds a bowl of “Cock Broth” and a jar of “Cantharides” (Spanish fly). A small caption below the bed reads “The vain endeavour The little Emperor done over.” In this version of the print Marie Louise’s breasts are painted over with a “chemise” in white and gray; in other versions her breasts are bare.Book Id: 46319