Jean Lannes died after the battle of Aspern-Essling in May, 1809 where he lost his two legs in the sequence of an artillery attack.
This painting shows the moment when Napoleon goes to Lannes - one of his oldest comrades, reportedly the only one who addressed the emperor by the familiar “tu”. Napoleon is said to have embraced his marshal and wept when he died.
On the 31 of May Napoleon wrote to Lannes’s widower:
“The Marshal died this morning of wounds received on the field of honour. My sorrow is as deep as yours. I lose the most distinguished general in my armies, my comrade in arms during sixteen years, he whom I considered my best friend.”