Gillray's most famous and elaborate lampoon of the royal couple, this print appeared on New Year's Day in 1805, less than a month after the coronation; it was said to have enraged Napoleon whenever he saw it. In the center of the composition, a bloated Josephine marches proudly forward; at her side, the emperor is lost in his oversized and excessively ornamented costume. While this caricature is meant to degrade Napoleon, it acknowledges the reality captured in many other images: Josephine wielded significant power, influence, and ambition.
Captions in the lower margin identifying individuals and groups following the processional order (r. to l.): 1. His Imperial Highness Prince Louis-Buonoparte Marboeuf - High Constable of the Empire. 2. The Three Imperial Graces, viz. Their High Princess Borghese, Princess Louis (cher amie of ye Emperor) & Princess Joseph Bonaparte. 3. Madame Talleyrand (ci devant Mrs Halhead the Prophetess conducting the Heir Apparent in the ye Path of Glory. 4. Talleyrand-Perigord. - Prime Minister and King at Arms bearing the Emperor's Genealogy. 5. His Holiness Pope Pius VII, - conducted by his old faithful friend: - Cardinal Fesch, offering the Incense. 6. His Imperial Majesty Napoleone ye Ist and the Empress Josephine. 7. Ladies of Honor, (ci-devant Poissardes) - Train-Bearers to ye Empress. 8. Puissant Continental-Powers, Train-Bearers to the Empress. 9. Berthier, Bernadotte, Augerou, - and all the Brave Train of the Republican - Generals, marching in the procession. 10. Senator Fouché, Intendant General of ye Police, bearing the sword of Justice. 11. Garde d'Honneur, finishing the Procession.
caricatures; humor; military; politicians; royalty; satire; social classes; social commentary; text
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