Love amongst the Antiquities

Napoleon's campaign of Egypt in 1798 created an intense interest in Egypt and its history within Europe that continued throughout the nineteenth century.  Such was the  public's love affair with ancient Egypt, the craze often became an object of satire.  A great example can be seen in the image below, by the British artist and caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), published in 1806. Modern Antiquities depicts  a woman and a  young military officer , the latter who is standing in an Egyptian sarcophagus (Desmond Hosford suggests the couple are Napoleon and Josephine de Beauharnais - French Orientalism: Culture, politics and the Imagined Other).  Oblivious to all but each other, they passionately kiss surrounded by Egyptian antiquities.


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