|As for The Wax-Maker's ruin, this caricature pictures Napoleon in fun fair surroundings. The sales talk given by the cosaque who shows the animal to the spectators (the owners of the plate), is written on an explaining strip. Napoleon, chained by Russia and England, is likened to "a tiger of the worst kind". The other animals or figures are the cat, Joseph king of Spain ; the satyre, Jérôme king of Westphalia ; the piglet, Cambacérès, always associated with the most obscene sexuality, living with a dog whose habits are just as dubious, probably the marquis of Aigrefeuille (born in 1745), who like him, enjoyed lustful activities. The « fat red bird of paradise, the great preacher», is cardinal Fesch, uncle of the Emperor ; the monkey may be Talleyrand ; as for the donkey, it is general Hulin (1758-1841), often condemned for the part he played in the duke of Enghien's trial. Governor of Paris, his jaw was smashed by general Malet in 1812, when he discovered the plot against Napoleon.|
|This print is the French version of George Cruikshank's caricature, issued on March 30, 1814. The Prussian field-marshal Blücher, his British counterpart Wellington , Schwarzenberg, the Austrian, and general Voronzoff,the Russian, are flogging Napoleon's dismembered body which is reduced to a spinning top. From this point on, the fictitious body appears: each part of the sovereign represents an abandoned conquest, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy. This caricature is similar to other works based on the themes of the Corsican wheel or the four corners game.|
This caricature is a typical example of a pun in which the text fully completes the image. On the battlefield of May, on June 1, 1815, the field marshal's oath of loyalty to Napoleon is concluded by a "nose pinch" ("Ney" sounds like "nez" which means "nose" in French) since the caricaturist is poking fun by way of scatology, the rallying of the most famous of field marshal's to Napoleon. One has heard of the glory he won at Waterloo and of his tragic fate. Ney was shot on December 7, 1815.
One may wonder how a satirical play as provocative as this one could have been advertized in theJournal de Paris and how it could have been given to the General Direction of Bookshops as it is indicated in the bottom right corner. It directly refers to the kidnapping of the Duke of Enghein in German territory on March 15, 1804. The marquess of Caulaincourt had been entrusted with the mission of arresting him. This explains the hatred of the Royalists who tried to lower him by nicknaming him "Colin", a typical common name. He was accused with being a manservant under Napoleon's service and was never forgiven for the part he played in the kidnapping. Goldsmith, inThe Secret history of the cabinet of Bonaparte (1810), says of him that he is the : « the secret performer of all the assassinations prepared by the executioner of Europe. » In fact it seems that Caulaincourt had been informed only too late of the Duke of Enghien's execution (hereby represented by a defenseless sheep which is being dragged towards the Kell bridge in Strasburg) and was sincerely sorry about it. The title of this caricature pictures a pun based on the name of Caulaincourt.
As in Levachez's caricature, the pear was ripe, this plate pictures a proverb. As in other works, Napoleon' body takes the shape of an object to which he is likened.