A painting of German chancellor Otto Von Bismarck meeting French diplomats at Versailles after the Franco-Prussian War, ca. 1871.
In this painting, Von Bismarck offers the French his terms after the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). The German artist sought to capture the French diplomats sinking into despair as Bismarck proudly issues the severe and humiliating terms he is forcing upon them. This 1871 negotiation also took place at the Palace of Versailles, which made it a symbolic location for signing the treaty ending World War I when the roles were reversed: France was among the victors and Germany was defeated. Other symbols included in the painting include the Prussian helmet and iron cross. There are also scraps of paper on the floor and a map of Europe behind Bismarck.