René-Vincent Perrenot studied with Vincent and Swebach and competed for the Prix de Rome in 1805, 1808 and 1809. He exhibited at the Salon of 1810, but Landon in his Annales du Musée..., Salon de 1810 (Paris, 1810, p. 91) indicates that 'au moment où nous corrigeons l'épreuve de cet article, nous apprenons que M. Perrenot est mort durant le cours de l'exposition. Sa perte doit laisser de vifs regrets; ce jeune artiste donnait les plus heureuses espérances'.
The drawing was probably done in 1810, the Salon of that year included paintings by Bergeret, Berthon and Serangeli depicting respectively The Meeting of Napoleon and Alexander at Tilsit, Napoleon receiving Queen Louisa of Prussia at Tilsit and The Parting of Napoleon and Alexander after the Meeting at Tilsit. These three compositions, now at Versailles, were for tapestries woven at the Gobelins.
On 25 June 1807 Tsar Alexander I and Emperor Napoleon I met in a pavilion on a barge on the river Niemen, near the town of Tilsit, to sign a peace treaty. After the first meeting the two emperors stayed in Tilsit, and on 6 July Queen Louisa of Prussia arrived with her husband to join the peace negotiations to save her territory. Napoleon did not give in and three days later the Queen left Tilsit empty-handed.
The first owner of this drawing, Michel Ney, was among Napoleon's most trusted Marshals. He had been a companion of Bonaparte from the establishment of the Consulate in the Coup of 18th Brumaire and followed him until the defeat at Waterloo. He was shot soon after the battle.