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La Poule

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    France (printed)

  • Date:

    1870-1871 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand-coloured lithograph on paper

  • Museum number:

    E.2236-1962

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 202

Physical description

'LA POULE'; Lithograph, coloured by hand; Empress Eugénie lies naked on a billiard table, surrounded by (left to right): Prince Napoleon, Louis Veuillot, Bernard de Cassagnac, Emile Ollivier, Joseph Piétri and Napoleon III.
Print from a set of caricatures, broadsheets and illustrations in ten volumes. Each volume is half-bound in red leather, gold tooled and stamped with imperial emblems, title etc.

Place of Origin

France (printed)

Date

1870-1871 (printed)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Hand-coloured lithograph on paper

Marks and inscriptions

LA POULE
Title, lettered above design.

Imp Lemaine & Fils, 61, r. de Clery
Lettered, bottom-right corner, below design.

Most prints in this set are lettered with the names of artists and printers and have captions

Dimensions

Height: 25.4 cm, Width: 33.6 cm

Object history note

Provenance unknown.

Descriptive line

Paris Commune print; 'LA POULE'; Lithograph, coloured by hand; Empress Eugénie lies naked on a billiard table, surrounded by; Prince Napoleon, Louis Veuillot, Bernard de Cassagnac, Emile Ollivier, Joseph Piétri and Napoleon III; Anonymous; France; 1870-71.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Lambert, Susan, The Franco-Prussian War and The Commune in Caricature 1870-71: catalogue of a collection of prints in the possession of the Department of Prints and Drawings of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, V&A, 1971
Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1962. London: HMSO, 1964.

Labels and date

Anonymous

Tales of debauchery and illict relationships emanated from the pleasure loving court of the Second Empire. Napoleon's carnal weaknesses were public knowledge and many of the rumours concerning his succession of mistresses were true. Those relating to the beautiful Eugénie were based on her informal and flirtatious manner. Here, branded as a 'poule' (a ‘hen’, with a secondary sense of ‘tart’) she lies naked on the billiard table, tapping a tambourine symbolic of her love of abandoned rhythmic dancing. The players are from left to right: Prince Napoleon, Louis Veuillot, Bernard de Cassagnac, Emile Ollivier, Joseph Piétri and Napoleon III. In fact the Empress is said to have been frigid and the stories of her adultery with her ministers are false.

Lithograph, coloured by hand. E.2236-1962 [27/05/1971-10/10/1971]

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Lithography; Hand-colouring

Subjects depicted

Billiard table; Wine bottles; Caricatures; Woman; Tambourine; Men

Categories

Caricatures & Cartoons; Prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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