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nn5n: scp-2515 Napoleon Crossing the Urals
SafeSCP-2515 Napoleon Crossing the UralsRate: 35
SCP-2515

Item #: SCP-2515

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-2515-A is to be secured in a glass case inside a sterile storage chamber at Site-77. To prevent the object's degradation, the storage chamber's temperature must be maintained at 20°C, and its relative humidity at 45%. SCP-2515-A is to be stored in complete darkness while not in use, and is to be examined daily by a curator from the Department of Antiquities for instances of Anthrenus verbasci1.

Any digital photography of SCP-2515-A is to be considered a Class C Information Breach, subject to disciplinary action. Film photography of SCP-2515-A is permissible for research regarding SCP-2515-B with explicit permission from the Site Director. All instances of SCP-2515-B and the film used to develop them are to be immediately destroyed following experimentation.

Description: SCP-2515-A is a 1.3 m x 2.0 m oil painting in the style of Jacques-Louis David, which was acquired in a raid on the Paris residence of anomalous art dealer █████ ██ ███████. SCP-2515-B is the designation given to all photographs of SCP-2515-A and all photographs of other instances of SCP-2515-B. SCP-2515-A is an equestrian portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte, depicted holding an electric lantern2, inscribed with the words "LVMEN FIDEI3," as his army marches through a mountain pass in the dark. To the right, a group of four soldiers is depicted holding up a bronze statue of an armored female figure, carrying a square and compasses, on a pedestal inscribed with the words "DEA EVROPA4." In the distant background of the painting a star fort is visible at the foot the mountain pass being crossed. The fort is surrounded by corpses, and the perspective is such that a pool of a fluid (typically identified by viewers as blood) can be seen within the fort.

The anomalous effects of SCP-2515 manifest for the duration that an individual views SCP-2515-A, or an instance of SCP-2515-B. While viewing either, individuals may claim to have knowledge about SCP-2515-A, despite SCP-2515-A not being found in any historical or cultural records accessible by the Foundation. Once affected individuals stop viewing SCP-2515-A, or an instance of SCP-2515-B, the anomalous effects cease. The depth of the individuals' knowledge is consistent with the level of their educational attainment regarding art history, which can range from having no knowledge to being able to give a detailed interpretation of the elements of SCP-2515-A5. As of yet, no information given by affected individuals about SCP-2515-A has been contradictory.

Interviewed: D-77-9275, art historian and political dissident from █████.
Interviewer: Dr. Cheng, Level 2 Researcher.
Foreword: Interview conducted over intercom system. Dr. Cheng has not previously viewed SCP-2515-A, or an instance of SCP-2515-B.

<Begin Log>

Dr. Cheng: D-77-9275, what do you see on the wall in front of you?

D-77-9275: (No verbal response.)

Dr. Cheng: D-77-9275, I repeat, what do you see on the wall in front of you?

D-77-9275: (Speaking slowly.) If I am to believe my own eyes, the original Napoleon Crossing the Urals.

Dr. Cheng: That is correct. D-77-9275, who was the artist behind the painting?

D-77-9275: Napoleon Crossing the Urals is the last great work of Jacques-Louis David, completed during his final years as Napoleon's court painter in the year 18226.

Dr. Cheng: D-77-9275, could you elaborate on the historical background of the painting? What does it depict?

D-77-9275: It's a scene from the Siberian Campaign - the crossing of the Pass of Napoleon, which, as you might expect, was named after this particular incident.

Dr. Cheng: D-77-9275, tell me more about this Siberian Campaign.

D-77-9275: Well, I'm sure you know the bas-

Dr. Cheng: (Cutting D-77-9275 off.) No, I don't.

D-77-9275: [REDACTED]

Dr. Cheng: Going back to the painting, what can you tell me about the lantern that Napoleon is holding?

D-77-9275: The inscription on the lantern reads "lumen fidei," which is Latin for "light of faith." Notice how the lantern is the only light source in the entire painting? David was telling us, the viewers, that only faith in ███████ can illuminate and enlighten the world. Look at the █████ in the distance - their barbaric fortress is shrouded in darkness. Even the light of ███████ cannot enlighten them; no, David shows us that they must be enlightened by force.

Dr. Cheng: Is the statue of Europa a depiction of ███████?

D-77-9275: Not exactly, no. The statue of Europa bears a double meaning in Napoleon Crossing the Urals. To the masses, Europa represents the God of Europe - the Christian God of Europe, of course. Not so to the Neo-Gnostic elites like Napoleon and David. To them, Europa was the embodiment of logic, reason, and the divine enlightenment of the European continent. The statue of Europa is an allegory for ███████, certainty, but it is not a depiction of ███████. In fact, David and the Neo-Gnostics would never have even spoken of ███████, whom they never knew of by name.

Dr. Cheng: If that's the case, how did they know of ███████?

D-77-9275: The impact of the Scientific Revolution extended far beyond the scientific domain. With the widespread dissemination of Newton's Principia, the concept of a clockwork universe became increasingly popular among the European literati. What began as a form of natural philosophy gradually transformed itself into a matter of religious doctrine, as debate raged over the first cause of the clockwork universe. The winners of the debate were advocates of what we know of as ███████ as the first cause of the clockwork universe, and unwittingly resurrected His worship. They laid the foundation for the Neo-Gnostic movement of Napoleon and David's time, and with it, the conflict against what the Neo-Gnostics saw as the Demiurge across the Urals.

Dr. Cheng: I have one last question for you today. You mentioned the fortress in the background briefly, but could you elaborate more about it?

D-77-9275: Certainly. The █████ Empire adopted star forts from the Europeans, but they modified them to their own ends. Look at the corpses, piled up around the fortress, and the pool of blood in the center. After battles and raids, they would take prisoners to their fortresses, where they would perform their ancient Rite of Exsanguination. Drop by drop, they bled out their victims into their banks of coagulated blood, preserved to fuel their future rituals. Corpses, too, were valuable resources. Piled up around █████ fortresses, corpses disheartened and diseased any approaching army. Furthermore, once their enemies were close at hand, they could perform their Rite of Consumption. What this particular rite entailed is still a matter of speculation, but we do have from Marshal Ney's journal of the Siberian Campaign a description of its aftermath. "A hundred drops - a thousand rose. A thousand rose - ten thousand fell." Needless to say, assaulting █████ fortresses was hardly a trivial maneuver, even for Napoleon's Continental Army.

Dr. Cheng: (After a pause.) That's enough for today. You will be escorted back to your chamber.

<End Log>

Closing Statement: After the interview was concluded, Dr. Cheng submitted a request to reserve D-77-9275 for future testing of SCP-2515. The request was approved by the active Site Director.

page revision: 31, last edited: 20 Jan 2017 00:48
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