«We Don’t Believe You, Nicolas»: Royalist Publicism As A Source Of French Anti-Napoleonic Caricature
Keywords:caricature, pamphlet, royalists, Napoleon, Chateaubriand
The article refers to the connection between royalist publicism and anti-Napoleonic caricature through the example of two etchings from the Khanenko Museum collection. The task of royalist propaganda was to undermine the authority of Napoleon Bonaparte and, at the same time, to set society in favor of the Bourbon restoration. This causes the specifics of the anti-Napoleonic pamphlets and caricatures, which were usually focused on creating of the repulsive images of the emperor. At the same time, it is easy to notice that the authors of texts and images operated with a common set of motifs, images, as well as they used similar techniques. Therefore, the analysis of pamphlets provides better understanding of the subject of studied etchings and helps to clarify the meaning of certain details. Furthermore, taking into account that caricature was often secondary to the texts, author strived to find the literary sources of the studied caricatures and came to the conclusion that Charon’s famous engraving “The Height of Cannibalism” was strongly influenced by the François-René Chateaubriand’s “Report on the State of France” (1815). The matching texts, as well as the general consonance of the caricature “Arrival of Nicolas Buonaparte in Tuileries on January 20, 1815” with Rougemaitre’s popular anti-Napoleonic pamphlet “Life of Nicolas” (1815) suggests that the latter was among the caricaturist’s sources of inspiration at least.