Manet, The Execution of Maximilian

This painting represents a struggle over Colonialism of Mexico in 1867: he Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian (1832 – 1867) was installed in Mexico as a puppet emperor by Napoleon III in 1863. He was dependent on the support of the occupying French army and when Napoleon withdrew his troops Maximilian was captured by Mexican forces loyal to their legitimate republican government. He was executed alongside two of his generals, Mejía and Miramón, on 19 June 1867. (see more below)

Manet, The Execution of Maximilian, 1867-1868 (more below)

Manets Execution

Manet painted another similar painting to this one the following year. This painting was cut up by members of Manet’s family and later reassembled by Degas. The image, with the Mexican forces makes a universal statement against the brutality of war but also criticizes France in a subtle way because the painting borrows from Goya’s famous painting The Third of May, 1808, a painting of 1814 that depicts the execution of Spanish nationalists by invading French soldiers under the orders of Napoleon III’s uncle, Napoleon I. The sergeant, right, is readying his gun is because it was his duty to deliver the coup de grâce if the squad had not managed to kill the condemned men. They hadn’t. In fact, according to sources, the execution was badly done, requiring repeated musket fire.


About kinneret

Hello, and welcome. I'm writing this blog under an alias. Why an alias? I started to write what may be described as an "American Gothic" novel (sort of Henry James/ Franz Kafka with violence) with some autobiographical details. ..when I started this blog I just decided to use the alias. This blog is about art and art history, but my interests also include literature, film analysis, psychology, forensic psychology, faerie tale analysis, cognitive therapy, cognitive linguistics, classical theater, World War II, and Russian and British history. My favorite writers include Kafka, the Brontes, and Philip K Dick. Thank you for reading this blog and I will happily reply to any comments.
This entry was posted in art, Impressionism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Manet, The Execution of Maximilian

  1. fatiha says:

    what a discovery for me. thanks for this post. i love Manet but haven’t seen this painting of his.

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s