Chickens Dressed Like Napoleon, Einstein and Other Historical Figures- page 6 | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
(Timothy Archibald)

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

Napoleon

Napoleon
(Timothy Archibald)
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.”

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