"Engraving After François Gérard - Battle Of Austerlitz"Engraving after François Gérard (Rome 1770 - Paris 1837), F. Godefroy engraver Very young, Gérard shows remarkable arrangements for drawing. So much so that in 1782 he entered the King's Pension, an establishment for young talented artists. Two years later, he became a pupil of Augustin Pajou, then of Nicolas Guy Brenet and finally of Jacques Louis David in 1786 where he became the friend of Anne-Louis Girodet and Antoine-Jean Gros. The following year, he won the 2nd Prix de Rome. At the end of the Revolution, success came quickly. At the Salon of 1795, Gérard exhibited a Bélisaire, thus placing himself in the continuity of his master David. But it is above all with his work Psyché et l'Amour, exhibited at the Salon of 1798 that Gérard attained his fame. Consequently, the numerous portraits of the good company which it carries out assure him a reputation more than established. In 1801, Girodet and Gérard received the order for two paintings illustrating the legends of the Ossian bard for the Bonaparte salon in Malmaison. The painter then benefits from the protection of the Bonaparte family and becomes the same year the "First painter" of Joséphine de Beauharnais, then is awarded the Legion of Honor in 1803, shortly after its creation. The pupil of Jacques-Louis David was then the painter of the future French imperial court and one of the most sought-after painters. Its success now goes beyond borders and it is soon the great ruling families of Europe who will want to be immortalized under Gérard's brushes. Our engraving is the representation of the monumental work commissioned by the imperial administration and installed in Versailles (see attached photo). Through this great Battle of Austerlitz, Gérard intends to compare his talent with that of his colleague Antoine-Jean Gros, painter assigned to scenes of Napoleonic battles. the following year (March 7, 1812) he was elected to the Institute in chair No. 8, succeeding the history painter Jean Simon Berthélemy. He was the first student of David to enter it. Girodet and Gros were elected in 1816. As a painter of the imperial court, Gérard painted the portrait of Empress Marie-Louise after his marriage to Napoleon, then that of their only child, the King of Rome. Under the Restoration, he was appointed First Painter to the King in 1817, a function he exercised under the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X. Royal recognition earned him the creation of a baron in 18196.