Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Napoleon in some cartoons

Napoleon Bonaparte´s image was reproduced many times. He was also the main figure in many cartoons in different countries. Here you have a small sample with cartoons from different periods and countries: 

On this cartoon, Napoleon plays the music, while the other countries dance after the signature of the Treaty of Amiens in 1802: 

Piercy Roberts, 'Spotprent op de Vrede van Amiens, 1802', Rijksmuseum

The following cartoon dates from 1805, after the battles of Trafalgar and Austerlitz. William Pitt, the British prime minister,  and Napoleon are dividing the world between them: Pitt takes the ocean and Napoleon takes all Europe except Great Britain. This cartoon represents the difficulties each side had to defeat the other one. The British had a strong navy, but couldn´t defeat Napoleon in the continent. Napoleon had a Great Army, but the couldn´t defeat the British at sea.  

On the following one, Napoleon blinds his soldiers with the smoke of military victories and makes them believe that war is the only way. His hand lies on a book with the revolutionary ideas, but he covers them from people´s view with his body: 

Napoleonic political cartoons

The next cartoon dates from 1806, when almost all Europe was submitted to Napoleon´s armies. Napoleon is presented as shaver to most of the sovereigns of the continent. His "customers" are bleeding, due to Napoleon´s ruthlesness. Only John Bull, the personification of Great Britain, keeps out of the barber shop and refuses the Austrian Emperor´s invitation to join them. 

A Spanish cartoon of the Spanish Peninsular War: Napoleon is working for the modernization of Spain and one Spanish patriot thanks his efforts "as he deserves":  

The following three cartoons depict Napoleon´s fate. He is represented trapped in a bottle, in a cage and destined to die at the gallows ("at his post of honour"): 

'European royals and martial heroes marvel at the sight of the defeated Napoleon Bonaparte standing in a glass bottle in their midst', Wellcome Library, London

Esser Wijnand, 'Napoleon in de rattenval', Rijksmuseum

«Napoleon Bonaparte. Chef de Brigands ; at his Post of Honor», c'est-à-dire à la potence : [estampe] - 1

Napoleon´s exile to the island of Elba: his sword is broken and he holds on to the donkey´s tail. The drummers mark the solemn momen.t 

Napoleon watching Europe from his exile in Elba: 

 Napoleon´s rise and fall on a Prussian caricature: 

File:Napoleons Lebenslauf - Aufstieg und Fall.jpg

Some more caricatures: 

Comparison between French and British cartoons: 

Russian caricatures: 

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