Chickens Dressed Like Napoleon, Einstein and Other Historical Figures
They came, they clucked and they conquered. Get the story behind these absurd portraits and how they came to be
- By Megan Gambino
- Smithsonian.com, May 18, 2012
What was key, according to both stylist and photographer, was experimenting with the birds’ body language. Every angle and subtle movement of a chicken’s wings or legs could convey a different personality and, ultimately, help sell the character.
Since paintings of Napoleon often show him with his hand tucked into his waistcoat, a formal stance in 18th- and 19th-century portraiture, Amos positioned the wing of a chicken in Napoleon garb the same way. “With Julius Caesar, we wanted it to look noble and regal,” says Archibald. “With Jackie O, we wanted it to look like a paparazzi photo taken as someone drove past her on the street corner.”