After the fall of Napoleon, Jacques-Louis David lost his exhaulted status as the "First Painter to the Emperor" and went into self-imposed exile in Brussels. One of his first portraits in Brussels was of Etienne-Maurice Gerard, a retired General in the French army.
General Gerard had led a life as politically shifting as David himself, serving the monarchy, the revolutionary republics, and Napoleon. Valued be each government as a brave and skilled leader, he won distintion in dozens of conflicts, and was made a count by Napoleon after sustaining wounds in the battle of Leipzig.
David's portrait was painted in Brussels in 1816, where General Gerard was spending a quite retirement. But you can't keep a good soldier down, and only a year later Gerard would return to France, where he would eventually participate in the July Revolution of 1830, and be appointed the Minister of War.
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