Photography was banned at the actual
execution of Maximilian and his generals. There are therefore
no photographic images of the event itself. Even if it had
been permitted, the technical limitations of photography at
this time made it impossible to capture sudden movements.
This drawing was made by Maximilian's official photographer
in Mexico, who claimed to have been present at the time of
the execution. The blurred details evoke a sense of immediacy,
and the single execution squad, anonymity of the soldiers,
and wall in the background coincide with Manet's representations.