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Napoleons skull

Napoleons skull


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Napoleons skull

Satirical French postcard from 1903 depicting Napoleons laughing skull. Sadly, the exact meaning of this rather grim image is not shared

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 4444215

© Mary Evans Picture Library 2015 - https://copyrighthub.org/s0/hub1/creation/maryevans/MaryEvansPictureID/10295366

Bicorn Bonaparte Napoleon Post Card Satire Skeleton Skull


EDITORS COMMENTS
This satirical postcard from 1903, obtained from Mary Evans Prints Online, presents an intriguing and enigmatic image of Napoleon Bonaparte's skull. The print, titled "Napoleon's Laughing Skull," depicts the former Emperor's skeletal remains wearing his iconic bicorn hat, which is perched atop his skull with a mischievous and almost mocking grin. The historical significance of this macabre image is open to interpretation. Napoleon Bonaparte, a French military and political leader, rose to prominence during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He conquered much of Europe and ruled the French Empire until his defeat in 1815. After his death, his remains were exiled to the island of Saint Helena, where he lived out his final days. It is unclear how or when his skull came into possession of the postcard's creator, but the image of a laughing skull wearing a bicorn hat would have been a striking and memorable one. The satirical nature of the print is evident in the grinning skull, which seems to mock the former Emperor's ambitions and military conquests. The bicorn hat, a symbol of Napoleon's military power and authority, is now a grotesque and ironic accessory to the skull. The meaning behind this image is not entirely clear, but it may be a commentary on the fleeting nature of power and the inevitability of death. Despite the dark subject matter, the print remains an intriguing and thought-provoking piece of historical art. The combination of the skull, the bicorn hat, and the satirical grin create a unique and memorable image that continues to capture the imagination of viewers over a century after its creation.

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