Posing with a hand tucked into one's waistcoat or vest was considered a sign of good breeding for men in Napoleon's era. The pose is associated with Napoleon because of the famous painting "Napoleon in His Study."Know More
The most famous painting of Napoleon in this pose, "Napoleon in His Study" by Jacques-Louis David, was not painted for Napoleon himself but was commissioned by Alexander Douglas, a Scottish nobleman who admired Napoleon. Napoleon did not even sit for this portrait. David painted his likeness from memory. Napoleon is also pictured in this pose in several other works by David.
The hand-in-waistcoat pose was often used by men of high standing in England in the 18th century. It was so well-known as to have become a cliche. Francois Nivelon's 1738 book, "A Book of Genteel Behavior," stated that the pose evoked "manly boldness tempered with modesty." The pose dates back to ancient Greece where it was a stance for orators recommended by Aeschines, the founder of a rhetoric school. He claimed that it was rude to speak with an arm outside of one's toga. Theories have stated that Napoleon kept his hand inside of his waistcoat because of stomach pain, breast cancer, a disfigured hand or skin disease. However, none of these have historical validity.Learn more about French Revolution
During the Napoleonic Wars, France conquered Egypt, Belgium, Holland, much of Italy, Austria, much of Germany, Poland and Spain. France directly conquered or controlled through alliance most of western Europe by 1812.Full Answer >
Napoleon Bonaparte ruled France from 1799 to 1815. He was First Consul of France from 1799 to 1804, and he was emperor of the French people from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815.Full Answer >
One of the primary goals of the French Revolution that Napoleon eventually achieved was civil reform. Although he imposed his tyrannical will upon his subjects, he was also responsible for the unification and codification of French laws.Full Answer >
According to the History Channel, the invasion of Russia in 1812 by Napoleon's Grande Armée of France was intended to force Russia's leader Czar Alexander I to the negotiating table to resolve differences between the two nations The attack was disastrous, leading to the decimation of Napoleon's army and eventually to his exile from France in 1814.Full Answer >