Francesco Cossia painted this portrait of the young general Bonaparte in 1797. The painting, now in the Soane’s Museum of London, was a commission of Maria Cosway. Always an impatient sitter, Napoleon only allowed (again after Josephine’s mediation) the painter to do a quick sketch during a dinner. He obtained another brief sessions briefly following the general. Cossia described Napoleon’s attitude towards him as “merry and affable”. However, the sessions were disturbed by the sitter’s impatience or by the constant arrival of urgent dispatches for him. Later Cossia would apologize for not having done better with the little time the general had given to him. From Cossia’s painting a series of engraving were made, like the one in the bottom image, published in London in 1797, one of the very first portraits the English people saw of Napoleon.
Image sources X and X.