The original painting of Napoleon at Fontainebleau was commissioned by Adolph Heinrich Schelelter for twelve thousand francs in 1845. Delaroche chose a poignant moment to depict the emperor. It is March 31, 1814, Napoleon having received the news that Paris has capitulated to the invading allied armies, knows that victory is impossible and his abdication is inevitable. Delaroche's Fontainebleau portrait became his most celebrated painting. Inspired by its popularity, he produced several replicas with his workshop. One such version was exhibited in 1851 at the Society of Fine Arts in Vienna.