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In this cartoon, Napoleon is portrayed as a buffoon, riding a goat in a charge against rodents, mocking his warlike instincts.


This Janus–like figuration of Napoleon haunts the viewer as it suggests a future filled with skulls. Indeed, the unprecedented deaths from war and conquest of the last two centuries make this image seem predictive.

The seal in the foreground, with its fleur–de–lys, indicates a return to royalism after France’s liberation from Napoleon. In addition, the secularism associated with the Revolution is countered with the image’s reference to the religious practice of…

As in other caricatures, foreigners tried to humiliate Napoleon, once again using mice to represent those who would now attend him.

German cartoonists tried to reduce Napoleon down to size, in this case, the size of mice! Here the mice serve as courtiers.

The reversal of circumstances that German cartoonists emphasized seemed generally to exercise considerable sway over this use of symbols. Here, Napoleon, who strode so large over Europe, is bottled and examined. Obsessed with his small stature,…

Where Napoleon was once the conqueror, the world now avenges itself. This sense of reversal, felt widely outside of France, characterized a number of the caricatures of Napoleon, and indeed of the entire Revolution.

Linking Napoleon with Hell represents a far cry from his own propaganda.


In this engraving, Roman and contemporary themes are combined to glorify the new emperor. The absence of any clear representation of revolutionary liberty shows Napoleon moving away from the events of the preceding decade.


In his poem “To the Column,” the great French poet Victor Hugo celebrates the memory of Napoleon.
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