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1843 – C.Forster – Le Partage de la Pologne

Title:                      “Le Partage de la Pologne d’apres Moreau​”


Famous French allegory and satire for the First Partition of Poland, known as The Troelfth Cake (also the The Twelfth Cake, The Royal Cake, The Cake of Kings, from the French: Le gâteau des rois, Polish: Kołacz królewski, Placek królewski). There are at least four variants of this drawing. The original was likely drawn by Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune and engraved by Nicolas Noël Le Mire.

The Troelfth Cake shows the rulers of the three countries that participated in the partition tearing a map of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth apart. The outer figures demanding their share are Catherine II of Russia and Frederick II of Prussia. Catherine is glaring at her former lover, the Polish king Stanisław August Poniatowski and Frederick is pointing with a sword to Danzig (Gdańsk).  The inner figure on the right is the Habsburg Emperor Joseph II. On his left is the beleaguered Stanisław August Poniatowski, who is experiencing difficulty keeping his crown on his head. Above the scene is Pheme.

The drawing gained notoriety in contemporary Europe, its distribution was banned in several countries. This ban, and associated penalties, meant that many variants of this work have been anonymous. The drawing was highly influential, and left its mark on numerous other satirical works of its time.

The print comes from Firmin Didot Freres book “Pologne par M.Charles Forster” , published in 1843.

Cartographer/ publisher:    Charles Forster (1800-1879)

Sheet size:                                      21,2 x 13,8 cm

Technique:                                    steel engraving

Year:                                                1843

Very good condition.

This is an original antique map published in 1843 and NOT a modern copy or reprint


On your request I will provide a Certificate of Authenticity

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