Napoleon Leading The Army Over The Dragon Analysis

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The Modern Triumph of Napoleon If you take a scroll in Brooklyn Museum on a rainy afternoon, you will notice an intriguing piece called “Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps” by Kehinde Wiley. There may be many reasons why this painting catches your eye. It could be the enormous size of the painting, the elaborate golden frame that stands out from other frameless contemporary art, or perhaps the excess of detail and sharp realism rather than the abstractness that is common in other pieces of the gallery. A second glimpse of the piece will bring about the feeling that you’ve seen this piece somewhere else before, in fact. David’s “Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, crossing the Alps at Great St. Bernard Pass 20 May 1800” will…show more content…
“The age” (1) describes the modern age we live in where people are recognising their wrongdoings and commemorating achievements and efforts made to fix mistakes of the past. Although there are many movements to correct such errors, in this poem, the efforts especially pertain to African American culture and the efforts to mitigate the terrible history of history of discrimination. Then the poem moves on to elaborate on the “task” (2) that the poem asks of this generation. Using verbs in the command form, he calls the readers to action when talking about his tasks. The first order is to “create/ a different image” (4). Heavily related to the minstrel Blackface shows that took place in the early 20th century, the images and masks are notable symbols throughout the poem. With just one visual image of the minstrel show performers, people associate many different elements to that visual. The image provokes the memory of songs sang in the show, the roles assumed, and perhaps even the social phenomenon that the show sparked. In this sense, images are extremely powerful as they connect various perception of the senses to a visual. As the United States has certain perceptions and prejudices against African Americans, the poet argues that there is a strong need to come up with a fresh, new image that people will associate different thoughts and other…show more content…
The poet of course, calls for change to a content, calm bronze of Benin. Benin does not mean the current West African country Benin but the Benin Empire which was a large pre-colonial African state of modern Nigeria. It was one of the most developed and prosperous nations of the Western African coastal countries until it was invaded by British explorers. The British annexed the Empire of Benin and took many of their culturally advanced artefacts, including their renowned artefacts of bronze. Just like the poem calls for change, there has currently been many efforts made in the Great Britain to return such historically significant pieces back to their rightful owners. According to the Guardian, students in Cambridge University protested to return a bronze cockerel that long stood in the hallways of the
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