Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Two-faced? No, Six-faced!

I know that this one is not really from the ancien régieme but since he worked for Louis XVI I suppose it is alright. Charles Maurice Talleyrand-Perigod was known as a man who was quick to .. em, adapt to whoever was in power at the time. And of course this had no chance of escaping the satirists' eye. It is published in 1815 and at this time he had already changed stands six times; hence the title of "the Six-headed man". Just to keep on track then here are the different titles occupied by this coat-turn over six regimes.

Bishop of Autun during Louis XVI
Member of the National Convention during the French Revolution
Foreign minister during the Dictoire Period
Foreign minister during both Napoleon the Consul and Napoleon the Emperor
Foreign minister and Minister President during the Restoration

Each of the heads are proclaiming different salutation according to who is in charge. For example "Vive le Roi" (Long live the King) and "Vive la Liberté".

File:Talleyrand floatingwiththetide0001.jpg

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