Thomas Nast

Artist's Biography

"Who Goes There?" - "A Friend."

Engraving, 1870.
Image size 9 1/4 x 13 15/16" (23.5 x 35.4 cm).
Good condition. Perforated library stamp in upper margin.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 91395
Price: $55.00
Publisher : Published by Harper's Weekly. August 27, 1870.
This political cartoon by Thomas Nast denounces Napoleon III over the horrific Battle of Mars-la-Tour, which resulted in more than 25,000 losses between the French and Prussian forces. The entirety of Franco-Prussian War wasn't well thought out on Napoleon's part. France was without allies and Prussia's influence and power was significant. The war would last ten months and end with France's defeat.

In the cartoon Nast portrays Napoleon III as a friend of death and is surrounded by the devastation of his defeat. A soldier in the mid-ground holds his fist out as if to curse the emperor for his poor leadership. In the distance is Mars-la-Tour, engulfed in flame. On the left are death's henchmen, delighted by the outcome of the battle. One uses a corpse as a chair and points to the paper before him. It reads, 'death list 10000,' a comment on the losses France suffered. Surrounding Napoleon, in the sky, are the words 'War! War! Fire. Ruin. Famine. Desolation. Death. Blood. Blood.'
18th-19th Century Subjects , Caricatures and Satirical , Political