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Napoleon Buonaparte

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Napoleon Buonaparte : Anonymous

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A small, satirical head and shoulders portrait of Napoleon. Napoleon's hat is an eagle representing Prussia, which has dug its claws into Napoleon by one interpretation, or is the "discomfited French Eagle, maimed and crouching", according to the text here; his face is formed of the bodies of the dead amassed during his campaigns; his collar is a sea of blood with a vessel below his ear; his jacket shows the Rhineland states, the dissolved Confederation that had been Napoleon's puppets; the order of the Legion of Honour shows the spider's web in which the Confederations' members had been caught; his epaulette is the "Hand Of God", which will free Germany from the spider, or is "an Emblem of the Vigilance of the Allies, who have inflicted on that Hand a deadly Sting". The image is based on Johann Michael Voltz's image that was published on January 1st 1814. Voltz had expressed German sentiment of the time - the allies had only recently driven Napoleon out of Germany at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813. Napoleon was still a threat to Germany at the time of publication. Voltz's satire was based on H.A.Dahling's portrait of Napoleon that had been painted in Berlin in 1806 when Napoleon stayed there - it was reproduced throughout Germany in engravings and so would have been well-known and easily recognisable in satirical form. Voltz's image proved very popular and was re-created throughout Europe. This edition has attractive original colour and the manuscript name "Napoleon Buonaparte" beneath the portrait. Paper a little age-toned.
region: Curiosities
mapmaker: Anonymous
place and date of publication: Germany c.1814-
medium and colour: copperplate, Original colour
size in mm: 135 by 110mm (5.25 by 4.25 inches).
ref: 35878

Price: £ 420

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