Napoleon Paintings like this are a lot like the campaign commercials that you see on TV just before an election. They celebrate the accomplishments of well-known political leaders and help people become familiar with their policies. But, you can't always believe everything you see in an advertisement—or in a painting.

David was trying to make us think about Napoleon in certain ways, and he used symbols throughout the painting to influence our opinion of the emperor. Let's try to figure out how he did it. Ready? Click a highlighted section to see a detail of the picture, then come back to this page to select another.

After you've seen the clues highlighted in the picture, we'll continue.

Copyright © National Gallery of Art

head wall candle left hand sword book bees signature carpet