Oil on cotton 76x61cm. 2007
Beethoven expressed admiration for Napoleon, whom he viewed as a figure of hope for the future of Europe. Writing a new work and dedicating it to Napoleon, later, he angrily scratched out the inscription on the manuscript when he heard that Napoleon had crowned himself Emperor. We all make mistakes. Trying to be true to principle rather than pragmatism usually poses difficulties, the resolution of which is beyond all but the most committed. This painting shows an obscured bust of Beethoven above what had been taken from a terracotta plaque of Napoleon, now completely obscured in paint. Both images are placed to the right hand side and are marginalised further by energetic planes of bright and dark colours.