ANONYMOUS – J’ai tout perdu jusqu’à ma dernière prise, et maintenant je fumes. French, c. 1815.
Plate: 146 x184mm; Sheet: 233 x 313mm; Hand-coloured etching; old stitching holes outside in white margin, slightly spotted
Very rare satirical print of Napoleon on St. Helena island. Bonaparte has lost everything and smokes his last pinch of snuff. The snuff box in his left hand is empty. „Instead of the possibility of snuffing („priser“), in captivity Napoleon finds no more hold („ne pas avoir de prise“), which makes him smoke or, in the double sense of that word in French, fume with rage. Moreover, the smoke serves as an illusion to Napoleon’s battles (gunsmoke), and the pinch of snuff („prise“) – which in French also means „violent power“ – to his conquests, all of which he has presently lost.“ (Arenberg)
BM (online) 1989,1104.31; Arenenberg 304; Not in BM Satires, Broadley