During my years in college, I worked on a history degree that focused on two regions histories, Asia and Europe. My European history focus had a smattering of pre-modern history tossed in, but my focus was primarily modern Europe, starting with the events leading up to the French Revolution. So much of the world changed with the French Revolution with its notions of things like secularism and liberal democracies that I found it an absolutely fascinating topic to study. The revolution so completely intrigued me that I even spent some time in Paris studying the event.
After the Revolution, the Terror, and a brief reign by the Directory, order was eventually be brought to France in the form of the Consulate under Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon would eventually seize power for himself and bring about the First French Empire.
All of this history is, however, a little pre-steam. How then, does all of this relate to Steampunk? Well, back in the day, the King of Spain commissioned this portrait of Napoleon leading his troops across the Alps:
Painted by Jacques-Louis David between 1801 and 1805, Napoleon Crossing the Alps is a highly idealized view of Napoleon. It’s also one of the most recognizable portraits in the world. And really, as soon as you look at that portrait, you know this dude is a badass, even if you don’t know exactly who that dude is.
But, in a Steampunk world, that same portrait might look something like this:
This awesome print of a Steampunk Napoleon was created by ApplePoo at deviantART. Be sure to check it out in its full glory at the gallery, and if you love it, consider ordering a print!