Tony Scherman Chasing Napoleon: Forensic Portraits

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Chasing Napoleon: Forensic Portraits By Tony Scherman, Jacques Henric, Hans Belting, David Moos, Sanford Kwinter and Bruce Mau

folio. pp. 130. profusely illustrated in colour. bds. dw. Moffat: Cameron & Hollis, [1999].

ISBN: 0906506158 / 9780906506158

Tony Scherman's Chasing Napoleon presents a remarkable tour de force: a cycle of monumentally scaled portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte, each of which depicts Napoleon at a psychologically charged, life-determining juncture. through exhaustive documentary research - ranging from celebrated commemorative paintings, official and unofficial portraits, to prints, illustrations, cameos and coins - Scherman has arrived at a historically derived, composite image. His method of artistic conception could perhaps be called 'forensic portraiture'. Confronting the challenge of producing an accurate likeness of a historical figure whose reign preceded the age of photography these paintings metaphorically chronicle the life of Napoleon using only the image of his face.