3 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday- The Black Brunswicker

  1. I love a few things about this piece. Millais is one of my favorite artists. I particularly love the silk of her dress and the reference to the Duchess of Richmond’s ball. I also like that it includes a Continental soldier who has volunteered against Napoleon. Too often, it seems like it was just the UK with a few non-occupied states against him which takes away the voice of the all people in lands he controlled. By the same token, there is a portrait of Napoleon on the wall, and critics believe it might mean the lady in the portrait admires Bonaparte. If so, I think it’s interesting the contrast of political sentiments wrapped up in a romantic entanglement. Quite the stuff that would inspire a fiction writer, no? It also sheds light on the fact that Bonaparte did have admirers. There were many that believed in the values of the French Revolution and even the Empire Napoleon created. This lady might be from Brunswick as well, or perhaps she’s English and came with the British troops. For there were some that did like Napoleon and spoke about it openly. Anyway, a lot going on in the portrait that as a historian fascinates me because it shows the complexity of a moment when in living memory it’s become black and white. And I think the colors used denote that as well.

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