Think, Investigate, Create

Art, Studio Arts and Visual Communication and Design

Napoleon’s Return to France, painted by Charles Steuben in  1818.

Propaganda Awareness | Napoleon

Using your favourite search engine, look closely at the different images of Napoleon. How is he portrayed? What devices does the artist use to achieve the desired impression?

Research the visual material used to convey political messages at different times in history – for example the posters of the Weimar Republic, Maoist China and America at war. What similarities and differences can you find? Do images still have similar power to influence in contemporary times? What kinds of images are used in today’s ‘propaganda’?  Which media are used by contemporary governments and politicians to communicate with their audience?

In Barak Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, a poster by artist Shepard Fairey featuring Obama’s face and the word ‘hope’ became an iconic image of the campaign. Find out about how this image arose and the issues that were raised from its use. Why do you think the image was so successful?


Create your own poster or media advertisement to promote a cause, political party or candidate.

Imagine you are trying to promote yourself as a leader. What kind of image would you try to create? Which symbols would you use to emphasise your character and credentials? Conduct a photo shoot with yourself as the subject to create images of you as leader.