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The Execution of Maximilian

A work made of lithograph in black, with scraping, on ivory chine laid down on ivory wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of lithograph in black, with scraping, on ivory chine laid down on ivory wove paper.

Date:

1867–68

Artist:

Édouard Manet
French, 1832-1883

About this artwork

The young Austrian-born Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph was controversially installed as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico in 1864 in an attempt to create a European-style monarchy there, backed by Napoleon III of France and a cohort of monarchists. Seen as part of a European imperialist campaign, Maximilian’s rule was considered illegitimate by those who opposed the French occupation of Mexico. This work interprets the young ruler’s execution in Querétero, Mexico, on June 19, 1867, alongside generals Miguel Miramón (left) and Tomás Mejía (right). Édouard Manet’s composition was inspired by not only history painting and the iconography of Francisco de Goya but also contemporary journalism and the budding field of newspaper photography. One controversial aspect of this print is the presence of French troops in the firing squad rather than those of the Mexican Republic. The lithograph was censored by the French government and was not publicly printed until after Manet’s death.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Édouard Manet

Title

The Execution of Maximilian

Origin

France

Date

Made 1867–1868

Medium

Lithograph in black, with scraping, on ivory chine laid down on ivory wove paper

Dimensions

335 × 434 mm (image); 338 × 436 mm (primary support); 490 × 599 mm (secondary support)

Credit Line

William McCallin McKee Memorial Endowment

Reference Number

1932.1298

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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