16.12.08

Napoleon in Egypt

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of the Ogre, (or of the Ogre's descendants). He was and remains an anti-Christ, who plunged the world into war after war, due to his megalomaniac designs and delusions of grandeur.

I realize that France regards him to this day as the great national hero, reflected by his crypt in Les Invalides, and the number of books written about him. His maneuvers and "Maxims" (I have a copy) have been studied in every military academy and school in the world. His laws are the basis of many European legal systems.

Many have forgotten the misery that he and his supporters foisted upon the continent, only his Empire which stretched from Moscow to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Baltic to the Mediterranean are remembered.

Catherine Delors reports on an exhibition in Paris at the Institut du Monde Arabe, (Institute of the Arab World) entitled Bonaparte et l'Egypte: Feu et Lumière ("Bonaparte and Egypt: Fire and Light"). "...Ambitious title, and my expectations for this exhibition were high, but the show fell flat..."

Catherine continues... "So what was missing? For one thing the rooms were small, stifling the epic feeling the subject begged for. For instance Gros's gigantic, iconic painting, Bonaparte visitant les pestiférés de jaffa ("Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa") was absent, and presented only on tiny television screens. The show also frequently lapsed into cheap orientalism, with a hodgepodge of objects of limited artistic or historical interest." More of her description may be found here...

Bonaparte was indeed a great man but as many dictators, when he fell it was justified. Unlike another dictator who fell in the next century he did not commit suicide after the total destruction of his country. He entered into history, to me not as a hero to be emulated but a character to be avoided.

Thank you Catherine for your article, a tip of the Beret to you... The irony of this exhibition has not escaped me.

Dieu Sauve le Roy!
de Brantigny

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