The Execution of Maximilian
1209 x 1024 • 271 KB
In 1864 French troops occupied Mexico and set up Maximilian, brother of Franz Joseph of Austria, as Emperor. At the demand of the United States, the French withdrew in 1866. Maximilian was captured by the republicans in 1867 and shot with two of his generals. This is perhaps Manet’s most curious work. The three men are apparently being shot at one time and the painting actually shows six riflemen shooting the general on Maximilian’s right and not the Emperor himself. What are the spectators gaping over the wall standing on? It must be ten feet high. The uniforms of the firing squad are French, not Mexican. It is likely that they wear French uniforms because Manet borrowed a squad of French soldiers to act as models for his composition. The result is curiously dispassionate and gives the impression that Manet was more interested in painting the groups of figures than trying to evoke the tragic nature of the event, although, no doubt, he was equally interested in depicting both.
Owner/Location: Kunsthalle Mannheim  (Germany - Mannheim)
Dates: 1867
Artist age:Approximately 35 years old.
Dimensions: Height: 253.37 cm (99.75 in.), Width: 304.8 cm (120 in.)
Medium: Painting - oil on canvas
Entered by: Member kohn1fox on 23 November 2013.
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