This robustly modelled bust of Napoleon as a Roman emperor is unusual in its somewhat romantic depiction of the sitter, with the heroic turn of the head, the thickly curling hair, and the long sideburns. It breaks free from the canon established by the portraits of Napoleon executed by Canova and Chaudet circa 1802, which were so widely dispersed that they tended to stifle creativity among other artists when approaching the subject. Although often portrayed wearing the victor's crown of laurel leaves as here, it is unusual to see them combined with the Roman cuirass and cloak. One such instance is the bust of the emperor by Angelo Pizzi (Udine, Museo Civico, for an illustration see Hubert and Ledoux-Lebard, op. cit., p. 96, fig. 67), however in that bust the Roman shoulders have been combined with a head that is highly influenced by Canova's portrait of the sitter. The present terracotta is therefore a highly individual creation which emphasises Napoleon's charismatic nature as well as his imperial standing. It may well be the model for a marble bust which was never executed or has since been lost or destroyed.