A glance at history.

This could have been the title for this exhibition when it opens this year all over Europe, and in particular in Italy. The commemorations of the bicentenary of the Napoleonic epic will certainly not conclude until...2021!

Should we have heaped praise on the great man? Certainly, but it was possible to do so while presenting his darker legend. Using its own collection to which was added several items from various institutions in France, Switzerland or from private collectors, the Malmaison Museum has chosen to commemorate the Emperor through caricature.

Jérémie Benoit, one of the museum's curators, was charged with organizing this exhibition. His task-which he performed with great ability considering the extent of European caricature production- was to pick a selection of works which, despite being sometimes funny and often cruel, illustrated the darker sides of the legend which was pinned to one who always unleashed passions.

Bernard Chevallier
Senior curator of the Malmaison and Bois-Préau National Museum.

The diffusion of the caricature