L'exécution de Maximilien (The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian)

Édouard Manet, French, 1832 - 1883



Crayon lithograph with scraping, printed on chine collé on wove paper


Image: 13 3/16 × 17 1/16 in. (33.5 × 43.4 cm)

Sheet: 18 11/16 × 24 7/8 in. (47.5 × 63.2 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through gifts from the Lathrop Fellows



Lemercier et Cie., Paris


Place Made: France, Europe


19th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


In image, bottom left, signed: Manet; below image, center: Imp. Lemercier et Cie. [ie superscript] Paris.


Clouds of smoke obscure three condemned men’s faces. Facing them, soldiers form a line, wearing crisp uniforms, models of military discipline. One soldier turns to the viewer as he reloads his rifle, preparing the final shot. This scene represents the final moments of Emperor Maximilian. Designated the ruler of Mexico by the French, he failed to create a new European colonial empire. Instead, the Mexican army, under the command of Benito Juárez, put Maximilian and two of his generals to death by firing squad, echoing the executions the emperor had carried out during his brief reign. Sympathetic to the Mexican fight to retake their country, Manet made his images in the immediate aftermath of the events but was not able to display them in France, which had continued to support Maximilian. Made after Manet’s own paintings of the same image, this print captures the final moments of Emperor Maximilian.

From the 2023 exhibition Recording War: Images of Violence 1500 – 1900, curated by Elizabeth Rice Mattison, Andrew W. Mellon Associate Curator of Academic Programming

Course History

ARTH 7, Paris in the Nineteenth Century, Kristin O'Rourke, Spring 2013

ANTH 12.3, WGST 42.5, The Ethnography of Violence, Chelsey Kivland, Fall 2013

ARTH 49, European Art in the Age of Revolution (1750-1850), Katie Hornstein, Fall 2013

ARTH 7, Paris in the 19th Century, Kristin O'Rourke, Winter 2014

ARTH 7.2, Paris in the Nineteenth Century, Kristin O'Rourke, Winter 2015

ARTH 41.04, European Art 1850-1900, Allan Doyle, Spring 2019

ARTH 41.04, European Art 1850-1900, Allan Doyle, Spring 2019

Exhibition History

Recording War: Images of Violence, 1500-1900, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 23-December 9, 2023.

Publication History

John R. Stomberg, The Hood Now: Art and Inquiry at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019, p. 123, ill. plate no. 54.


Susan Schulman Printseller, New York, New York; sold to present collection, 2010.

Catalogue Raisonne

Beraldi (1889):56; Guerin (1944): 73; Fisher (1985): 49; Harris (1970): 54

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