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napoleon


historical caricatures with a theme, this one titled,
T.GIVING A LESSON
IN IMPERIAL
DIGNITY AND DEPORTMENT’

where….

T. is none other than Fran├žois Talma (1763-1826), the famous actor whom Napoleon met in June 1792 after a performance when he was but a captain in the artillery. The two men struck up a lasting friendship due to their common interest in Greek and modern tragedies……The print is organized in such a way as to suggest that the actor is teaching the Emperor how to pose. Yet the caricature goes beyond the mere representation of a dwarf-like Napoleon taking lessons in imperial elegance with the actor in order to become worthy of his rank: it suggests all the playacting, all the fuss made by the Empire, a vast artificial and ridiculous performance..

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