Thursday, 8 March 2012

Apotheosis of a Megalomaniac

The Apotheosis of Napoleon I, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (just one off from the initials JEDI).

Apotheosis, for those of you who have lives and don't spend your time rummaging through old books (or reading Dan Brown), is the exaltation of a figure to divine status.  And who better to divinize than Napoleon? 
There he is, being all godly.  And by godly I mean naked.  Notice that nothing else in the picture appears to be billowing quite so dramatically as his cape; I like to think that it has wires in it, and it has been carefully bent into that position.

So.  He gets a crown to wear on top of his crown.  Also he gets a crystal ball.  I guess that might have been more helpful prior to Waterloo.  Maybe it's the sarcastic welcome present of the other gods?  Anyway, now everyone will respect him! 
Except for the horses that are lugging him to heaven.  I swear they are laughing.  It's like this is the most hilarious guy they've had to transport in centuries.  And the angel waving the branch just looks bored. "Oh, isn't he glorious.  Hail Napoleon." *eyeroll*

However, my favorite part of the picture is this:
That woman appears to be wildly lunging out of bed to punch a snake that is strangling some naked men.  Snake-punching is one of the most time-honored traditions associated with celebrating new godhood, right along with palm-waving and lute-playing, and this lady will NOT be outdone.  Also, the Lunging Snake-Punchers would be an excellent name for a band.

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