Trudon

Napoleon - Cire Trudon

As soon as the Consulate period began, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) realised the importance of showing his portrait to the French people. Then, the building of his legend began. All supports were used, from sculptures to snuffboxes and fans. The multiplicity of objects bearing the Emperor's effigy or representing imperial symbols were an extraordinary propaganda tool for the Napoleonic legend. During the Restoration, however, the Bonapartists were forced to hide and prepare their revenge, spreading more and more seditious objects. The death of the Emperor in 1821 made him less dangerous in the eyes of the realists and the copies that represented his main actions multiplied once again. The Second Empire (1852) made the imperial legend official with commissions of sculptures installed in squares and paintings exhibited in museums. Although the Second Empire re-established official propaganda, the fall of the regime in 1870 ended the celebration of Napoleon for 20 years. Nationalist fervour rose again in 1890 and since then has never ceased to be a heroic figure.

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