- Museum number
Series: Carricaturen, 1stes Heft; Sammlung der witzigsten Zerrbilder welche zu Ehren des Herrn Noch Jemand und Consorten erscheinen sind
A German hieroglyphic print. The title is from the inscription in large letters on a savage dog, representing Napoleon, standing on a globe, an arc of which forms the base of the design, and on which he has left blood-stained foot-prints. A head of Napoleon in profile to the right is enclosed in the upward curve of the animal's tail, which is inscribed 'Protecteur'; the dog's collar is inscribed 'Universal Monarchie', the ears are 'Douaniere' and 'Gendarmerie' respectively, the jaw is 'Daru' ; his paws are 'Rapp', 'Victor', 'Davoust', and 'Vandame', the last being linked to a chain held in a hand projecting from the right margin; the end of the chain is weighted by a pair of shoes inscribed 'Pariser Kauft'. The hand that holds the chain holds also a flail inscribed 'Für Hamburg, Lübeck & Bremen'. The dog's right forepaw rests upon a skull (left), which he is licking; the other on a rectangular block resting on the globe and inscribed 'Term'. The globe represents not the earth but Hell. Flames issue from the lower margin, among them is the word 'Pyriphlegelon', near which is a (?) paper inscribed 'Tele graph', the other rivers are indicated by the word 'Styx' (which Cerberus bestrides), and 'Lethe'. A shadowy profile of Napoleon is sketched on the globe; this has the lank hair and bicorne of Napoleon in the first Italian campaign.
From the upper left corner of the design darts of jagged lightning point towards Napoleon. Each forms the profile of an avenging general (left to right): 'Carl Johan', 'Kutusow', 'Blücher', 'Wellington'. Between the two pairs of generals is an irradiated cross, symbolizing God, from which issue the words 'Siehe ich will von Ahab ausrotten auch den' [1 'Kings' xi. 21], signifying that Napoleon will be childless. The dart from Wellington strikes behind the dog, and reaches the Hand of Justice (cf. No. 12247) of Napoleon, and an eagle (reversed), both inscribed 'N', which, with a laurel-wreath, are above the right side of the globe.
A broad masonry pillar or monument rises vertically from behind the globe; from this an arm projects horizontally to the left, the hand pointing towards the cross, and inscribed 'Vidi'. Another arm with a beckoning finger projects to the right, and is inscribed 'Veni'. On the face of the monument is a rectangular design inscribed 'Victoire', and headed 'Vici': a scythe, pitchfork, and rake are hung with trophies: 'de Leipsic 20 Trop he!'; a petticoat, cap, stockings, and cloths inscribed 'Drapeau'. On the scythe-blade: 'd. 19ten Octobr. 1813'. The head and shoulders of a Jove-like man project from behind this design.
On the right of this monument is a post surmounted by the head of a man wearing a fool's cap; below the head, and perhaps suspended from the shoulders is a placard headed 'Pasquinus eram'. On it is depicted a seated ape, holding a (?) newspaper on a stick (as read in cafés), reversed; he is 'Der Nachstecher' (engraver or copyist). To the lower part of the post are fixed masks with a (?) bladder attached to a stick, as used in carnivals. Below the design:
'Sonst war ich der grosse Napoleon
Jezt — dien't ich der Hölle um Lohn
Und bringt man mich dem Feuer zu nah —
So bin ich gleich als Camäleon da.
- Production date
Height: 105 millimetres
Width: 139 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
A satire on the defeat and captivity of Napoleon, with some obscure details, with special reference to the sufferings of Germany under the Empire. The customs officers and gendarmerie denote the French officials who enforced the Continental System, whose rigours were especially felt in North Germany, and above all in Hamburg. He is punished for the sufferings of Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen (annexed to France 13 Dec. 1810). Daru, as Commissary with the Grand Army, had supervised the military occupation of Prussia from 1807. General Rapp defended Danzig from 24 Jan. to 29 Nov. 1813. Marshal Victor commanded a corps during the German campaign of 1813 from Lützen to Leipzig. Davoût was made Governor of the Lower Elbe in Mar. 1813, and reoccupied Hamburg on 30 May; during the siege in 1814 he acted with great harshness to the population. General Vandamme fought in the campaign of 1813, and was made Governor of Bremen, but was defeated and captured at Kulm (see No. 12177). For Leipzig see No. 12093, &c. The trophies are probably those sent by Napoleon from Hanau, see No. 12111, &c. The four commanders who launch thunderbolts represent the forces of Sweden, Russia, Prussia, and Britain. Apparently a companion plate to Nos. 12319, 12320; a serial number has been erased from these plates. All were perhaps accompanied by a printed explanation.
Broadley (ii. 127 f.) describes a version differing in some inscriptions: Bülow takes the place of Kutusow. The inscription below (translated): 'I am Cerberus (Ich heisse Cerberus); I also am Chameleon; when heated I change colour', with the date 'Anno 1814 1 B and K 21, 22'. Imprint: Henschel Brothers and Werder, 4 Rosen Strasse, Berlin.
See also: Sabine and Ernst Scheffler: 'So zerstieben getraeumte Welten; Napoleon I in der deustchen Karikatur' cat 3.49.1.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number