MANET, Edouard
(b. 1832, Paris, d. 1883, Paris)

The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico

Oil on canvas, 252 x 305 cm
Kunsthalle, Mannheim

The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, derived from current affaires, was a work of considerable ambition. In it, Manet makes play with his sources, borrowing his composition from Goya's The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, but adding the faces of the people peeping over the wall from Goya's Quinta del Sordo. Manet' soldier, however, show no desire to hit their target; they aim parallel to the picture plane, putting their victims at no risk at all.

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