The Napoleonic Legend
Beginning with engravings or small objects sold during the Directory, Napoleon's image was circulated in great quantities in all social classes during the Empire. This official propaganda ceased with the restoration of the Bourbons, and the half-pay officers had to resort to seditious objects in which Napoleon's image was often concealed by the figure of Louis XVIII.
Police supervision eased up slightly after the Emperor's death in 1821, but it was not until the accession of Louis Philippe, in 1830, that copies of all sorts of popular objects of the hero and his main exploits became widely available once more. Printed faience, fabrics, statuettes, tobacco boxes and prints were an extraordinary means of propaganda for the Napoleonic legend.
They kept the memory of the Emperor alive among the working classes, who were staunch supporters of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, the future Napoleon III. Although the Second
Empire made this official propaganda its own, the collapse of the regime in 1870 drove Napoleon's image out of favour for
twenty years. The upsurge of national feeling in the 1890s revived the image of the hero who had so often conquered the
Paintings, plays (L'Aiglon or Madame Sans-Gêne) and sculptures celebrated the cult of Napoleon, which has not been eclipsed since the end of the nineteenth century.
Reproduction in hand patinated resin
- H. 28 cm (11,02"); L. 17 cm (6,70"); P. 17 cm (6,70") - 3 kg
- Material of the original
- Rueil-Malmaison - Musée des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau
- Art movement
- 19th century