Napoleon Bonaparte Style to Honour Soldiers

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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The initial discussion will describe in detail the historical narratives and art periods of both monuments.Next, there will be some exploration of some comparisons, as well as some contrasts between the two pieces. Finally, comparing the two monuments contextually, with a more contemporary piece of art there will be a discussion on how all three monuments historically, symbolically, and politically prove that even in honor, there are moral compasses and hidden political agendas that exist. Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is located at the Charles de Gaulle Western Paris.

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The Arc de Triomphe is a landmark structure and was commissioned in 1806 to honor the individuals who battled and died for France in the French Progressive and Napoleonic Wars.1800’s in art is regularly assessed to the Neoclassicism movement, based on Roman art. Neoclassical art is of the Classical styles of old Greece and Rome.The aesthetics of neoclassicism warrants qualities ordinarily connected with —harmony, clarity, restraint, universality, and idealism. (Britannica 2018) 

The groups and figures carved on the Arc are the works of James Pradier, Antoine Etex and Jean-Pierre Cortot. Much of the most celebrated sculpture is the work of Francois Rude: La Marseillaise. His work brought passion and emotion to the monument. The social leveling changes in France had prompted the nation to be more productive. Citizens of all levels of French society started to feel to a greater extent a stake in France’s future. Napoleon, a minor Corsican privileged person who rose to be Ruler of France, spoke to the new trust in social independence. Furthermore, even though he was a tyrant, Napoleon was an innovator, legitimizing government and social procedures wherever he went. Napoleon spoke to change. The Arc de Triomphe is a symbol of France’s history and patriotism representing many political struggles, hence, symbolically, immortalizing Napoleon and his leadership. My second choice was Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On March 8th, 1965, American Troops swam towards the shore at China Beach north of Da Nang. The invasion of North Vietnam had initiated. There were approximately 23,000 military troops in full force on the ground. The Cold War was escalating around the world, and the United States solidified its strategies against any partners of the Soviet Union, by 1955 President Dwight D. Eisenhower had vowed to help Diem and South Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is made of two simple walls of polished granite that sit deep into the ground.

The walls are so polished they are highly reflective to both the observer and the surroundings.Engraved in the walls are 58,000 names of servicemen who were announced killed in action (KIA) or Missing in action (MIA) amid the Vietnam War. (Corbin) the ends of the walls point directly to the Lincoln and Washington Monuments. The Vietnam struggle completely changed the many US citizens state of mind. An ever-increasing number of Americans ended up suspicious, and pessimistic about US politics, government and public institutions in the wake of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is from the Modernism art movement. There was global development in the public arena and culture during this era. Modernism was driven by different social and political plans. Throughout the memorial there are no clear visuals of soldiers, war or patriotic symbols or images. This set the political tone of epistemology. Symbolically, the design of the wall represents personal reflection of a war surrounded by controversary. The Vietnam struggle completely changed the many US citizens state of mind of an age. An ever-increasing number of Americans ended up suspicious, and pessimistic about US politics, government and public institutions in the wake of the Vietnam War. 

The Vietnam Era antiwar protest rose up out of social justice. Comparatively, both monuments honor Veterans of War who are considered heroes and died battling the politically proposed injustices of their era. Looking beyond the common theme we can’t help but see the hidden political agendas. In contrast, both monuments had hidden social and political messages. While Napoleon commissioned for the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile to be built with perception of honoring and celebrating the military achievements of the French armies. With what we know historically about Napoleon, as being an egomaniac. We know he wanted to be immortalized as the great leader of War and the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile was how he did just that. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial had a totally different message of underlying political content- that one can honor veterans while not glorifying war. (‘The Vietnam Veterans Memorial’) The Vietnam War historically had great opposition by many U. S. Citizens who felt that United Sates involvement was unwarranted. Public adversity to the war was huge at this time. 

The style of the VVM is simplistically and aesthetically allows for the viewer to allow either a celebration of the heroes listed or a feel a distain for lives lost for a war unjustified. In my contemporary choice the Abraham Lincoln War Veteran Projection artist Wodiczko reached out to 30 veterans’ organizations to find former service members to participate in this project. Wodiczko works with projections, video, and sound to create a platform where voices of the individuals who have been pushed to the edges of society due to traumatic situations such as war, homelessness, and illness. For this project, images were projected onto the Abraham Lincoln statute in New York’s Union Square Park.Fourteen of these discussions were recorded and all the individual perspectives were the participants very own words, voices, and images. These words and signals are the core of the project and shared with the general population by means of participants own image projection onto the statue of Lincoln. As Martegani says, the work is intended to ‘revive intrigue and shine a different light on this authentic city landmark, making New Yorkers stop and ponder our history and its outcomes. The venture not just gives a voice to the individuals who frequently stay unheard yet, in addition, gives people, in general, a chance to see the people who have gone into the fight for the country and to hear what they feel about what they encountered. The association with Lincoln, as per Wodiczko, this is a parallel between the war veterans and their traumas in the past, as far back as the Civil War, and Lincoln’s own witnessing of the war, and the viewpoint of today’s war veterans. (‘Krzysztof Wodiczko: Abraham Lincoln War Veteran Projection’) 

His artistic practice is an exercise in democracy, an attempt to poke at politics and social structures through unexpected and controversial art forms. Wodiczko (‘Krzysztof Wodiczko’) In conclusion, all three works of art were influenced by historical, social and political issues and in one way or another bring honor to War Veterans honor while wakening the ethical compass that war stifles. The wonderful thing about art is that it is open to individual interpretation.

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Napoleon Bonaparte Style to Honour Soldiers. (2021, Jun 03). Retrieved from