I find the story of Maximilian I of Mexico strangely fascinating. The Austrian Habsburg prince who teamed up with Napoleon III to establish a monarchy in Mexico – over forty years after the old European power, the Spanish, left the country.

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The first image is from the early days of photography – and shows an old Emperor wearing a Mexican-style hat in 1867. Maximilian took charge of Mexico in 1864, but his reign didn’t last long.

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Our second image shows the Emperor’s last moments. After Napoleon III stopped his support for the Emperor, Maximilian had to fend for himself. And in an unstable country, he was ultimately not able to. This painting shows the emotion of the Emperor’s final moments. The painting is by Jean-Paul Laurens and from 1882. It is owned by the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia.


George Levrier-Jones


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AuthorGeorge Levrier-Jones