“Le Traître,” (The Traitor)
Meyer’s image represents the moment prior to L’Illustration’s “Dégradation du Capitaine,” though Le Petit Journal’s title is more critical. On 5, January, 1895, between his trial and his departure to exile, Dreyfus was stripped of his honors and titles. In this scene, his military accoutrements are removed and destroyed in a public ceremony held in front of the Hôtel des Invalides, pictured in the background. His badges are strewn along the cobblestones, as we witness the moment in which his sword was broken in two. Le Petit Journal’s image attempts to give us a small window into Dreyfus’s emotions. Representing him in profile, we can discern that his eyebrows are knitted in a pained expression.