The body of Napoleon Bonaparte laid out after death
Public interest in Napoleon's life and death on the Atlantic
island of St Helena produced a vast supply of documentary records
in the form of memoirs, drawings and prints. The day after his
death in 1821, a drawing of his body was made by one J Ward, an
Ensign in the 4th Regiment of Foot, who was stationed on the
island, and another drawing was made by Captain Frederick Marryat
RN (later a famous novelist).
Both drawings were widely published, and this is one of the
published engravings of the Ward picture. There seems to have been
no feeling at the time that there was anything unethical in
recording the appearance of the corpse of the late emperor. Ward's
drawing was sold at Sotheby's in 2002.