Dom Pedro proclaimed the independence of Brazil in Sao Paulo on 7 September 1822 and was proclaimed constitutional emperor in Rio on 12 October. He was painted many times by the artists in the French Mission which had been invited to Brazil with the Duke of Luxemburg's Embassy in 1816 and included the disaffected Bonapartist painters Nicolas-Antoine Taunay, Jean-Baptiste Debret and the architect Grandjean de Montigny amongst a large group of artists under the direction of Joachim Lebreton. The French artists had been invited to Brazil by Dom Pedro's father, the exiled Portuguese Prince Regent (and later King Dom João VI) to establish an Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, and the majority of Imperial commissions from 1816 were undertaken by Debret and his compatriots. Debret himself painted portraits of the Royal Family shortly after his arrival in 1816, and the present portrait compares closely with his work and that of his pupil and assistant Simplicio Rodrigues de Sá (1785-1839). For the latter's portrait of Dom Pedro I now in the Museu Imperial, Petropolis, see J. Boghici, La Mission Artistique Française et les Peintres Voyageurs, Rio de Janeiro, 1990, pp. 31 and 80.