Bonaparte, the Unfinished Portrait

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough it is  neither signed nor dated, the dog-ears — the long hair flapping on each side of the high collar, as well as the silk scarf tightly wrapped around the neck, betray a young man in the days of the Directory; then, even though we cannot see them, the general should be sporting a pair of pointy, flat-sole boots and an over-sized hat. By 1800 all of these elements of fashion are considered reactionary — too many allusions to the guillotine, all to be outlawed by Napoleon himself; but around 1797-98 we see a young man very much willing to be associated with the Parisian groovy crowd, the Incredible and the Marvelous. In just a couple of years his views undergo some change — these things happen; there is only one item he keeps till the end, the famous hat.

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