From the Sublime to the Ridiculous


One step above the sublime makes the ridiculous, and one step above the ridiculous makes the sublime again” – this Napoleon’s dictum is certainly familiar to history lovers. However, the popular quotation of a “short corporal” is also well-known among those who is far from “the past” and hardly know the author of this genius phrase.

The Museum of the World Ocean andthe State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve encourage you to literally look at this expression and understand what made the famous Corsican laugh and cry when retreating from Russia. The exhibition chronologically acquaints with graphic sheets that keep the record of two opinions regarding the same events: pompous and satiric.

The exhibition displays works both by Russian authors and West European etchers of the 19th century.

Uniforms and munitions of the Grande Armée comprising 20 European nationalities are other impressive artifacts. There are also numerous findings from the Battle of Borodino: cannonballs, grenade splintercaseshot, bullets, etc.

It is remarkable that graphics and paintings as well as commemorative medals with images of Napoleon Bonaparte and his biography as well as books that debunk the heroic halo of the Corsican point to the popularity of this conqueror in the past centuries and in the present history. The exhibits tell about the dramatic moments of Napoleon’s life, about his glory and defeat up to the last days of the great person and commander who died “in the middle of the oceanic desert”.