- Museum number
- Object: The peddigree of Corporal Violet.
A companion plate to No. 12541. The base of the design is a dunghill from which rises the head of Napoleon as a young republican officer, not caricatured. His head is covered by a large cup-shaped fungus, decorated with a tricolour cockade and resembling a Cap of Liberty; from its apex ascends a curving stalk, terminating in the large yellow rosette of a sunflower, centred by the head of Napoleon as Emperor, larger than that of the base, and representing an older man; like the lower one it is directed slightly to the right. Below it, leaves project from the stalk, balancing the design. On Napoleon's head is an arrangement of stamens in the form of an imperial crown. These unite to form the long scraggy neck of the third Napoleon, a head in profile to the right, emaciated and desperate. On this head is a larger fungus than that below, projecting like an enormous hat. From it ascend the stems of a bunch of violets, copied from No. 12511, but with the addition of more flowers, and on a larger scale. It contains the profiles of Napoleon, Marie Louise, and the King of Rome, arranged exactly as in No. 12511.
Smaller fungi sprout from the dunghill, some flat and some conical, like caps of Liberty; on the latter tricolour cockades are indicated. Four little figures are on a slope (left) leading towards the dunghill, prepared to clear it away. In front are Blücher and Wellington, running forward, and talking to each other; one holds a spade, the other a broad hoe. Behind them is the Tsar, shouldering a pickaxe. Behind again stands Louis XVIII, with splayed gouty legs, supported on a crutch. He waves his hat to cheer them on. Below the title: 'First as a Consular Toadstool, rising from a Corsican Dunghill, then changing to an Imperial Sun Flower, from that to an Elba Fungus and lastly to a bunch of Violets, which are so disposed as to represent a Whole length Profile of Buonaparte, with a Bust of Maria Louisa, and her son the Prince of Parma.'
9 June 1815
- Production date
Height: 420 millimetres
Width: 245 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
For 'Corporal Violet' see No. 12512; for the mushroom on a dunghill as the symbol of Napoleon, No. 12205, &c., and cf. Nos. 9522, 12547.
Reid, No. 486. Cohn, No. 1834. Broadley, ii. 91 f. (reproduction).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number