The fictional Marcus Sextus, Napoleon pardoning the rebels of Cairo, and Narcissus where he shouldn’t be: disinformation in history painting.
Founded around 1666, the Prix de Rome was an annual contest for narrative painting. First prize was study at the French Academy in Rome.
Caesar and Cleopatra in Egypt, the suicide of Cato the Younger, Caesar’s triumphs, and the development of a conspiracy to assassinate Caesar.
A Roman who stuck to his principles and fought corruption, bribery, and the seizing of power by Caesar. What could be more appropriate when you live in troubled times?
Also a grim story of suicidal disembowelling, and a propaganda painting for Napoleon.