On June 19, 1867, Emperor Maximilian of Mexico- a Hapsburg who had been installed by Napoleon III of France- was executed at the hands of a resurgent Mexican army. His death sent shock waves across Europe, kindling an inferno of speculation and reportage in the Paris press. Ã‰douard Manet, fascinated by accounts of the execution, made three large paintings on the subject as well as an oil sketch and a lithograph. In this catalogue, coinciding with the exhibition of these works at The Museum of Modern Art in 2006, John Elderfield discusses their enduring influence and offers a detailed account of their development, tracing Manet's use of his own earlier compositions, his reliance on press reports and popular images, and the influence of other artists on the works. Includes 112 illustrations.