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Napoleon, the First and Last

Unknown, After Johann Michael Voltz

European Art

 This print is an English-language version of a popular German satirical broadside first published in 1813 after Napoleon’s defeat at Leipzig. Above a list of mocking and defamatory titles for the emperor appears his “hieroglyphic” profile portrait made up of scornful imagery including the tangled corpses left behind by his armies. Although the meaning of some of the various symbols was lost or changed in the English translation, the original version describes the hat as a Prussian eagle griping Napoleon in its claws, and shows Germany ensnared by the French imperial spider and web, which in turn is being pulled apart by a hand bearing the initials of the allied forces that fought against the emperor.
MEDIUM Etching, letterpress, and watercolor (hand coloring) on wove paper
DIMENSIONS sheet: 18 1/2 × 11 3/4 in. (47 × 29.8 cm) image: 17 × 9 3/8 in. (43.2 × 23.8 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Bequest of Marion Reilly
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Unknown. Napoleon, the First and Last. Etching, letterpress, and watercolor (hand coloring) on wove paper, sheet: 18 1/2 × 11 3/4 in. (47 × 29.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Marion Reilly, 29.1619.19 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 29.1619.19_PS1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 29.1619.19_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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Unknown. <em>Napoleon, the First and Last</em>. Etching, letterpress, and watercolor (hand coloring) on wove paper, sheet: 18 1/2 × 11 3/4 in. (47 × 29.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Marion Reilly, 29.1619.19 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 29.1619.19_PS1.jpg)