Title: Entry of Charles X into Paris, by the barrier de la Villette, after his coronation.
Author : LEJEUNE Louis-François (1775 - 1848)
Creation date : 1825
Date shown: 06 June 1825
Dimensions: Height 179 - Width 154
Technique and other indications: (6 June 1825) Oil painting on canvas
Storage location: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website
Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet
Picture reference: 79EE193 / MV 1794
Entry of Charles X into Paris, by the barrier de la Villette, after his coronation.
© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet
Publication date: March 2016
The last coronation
On the death of Louis XVIII in 1824, his last surviving brother, the Comte d'Artois, ascended the throne under the name of Charles X. The contrast was at the time noted between the coldness manifested by the people of Paris and the enthusiasm which accompanied the entry of the restored Bourbons into the capital in March 1814.
A propaganda board?
Lejeune, a skilful courtier, does not testify here. The coronation coach, ordered especially for the ceremony, is used for the solemn entry of the new sovereign into his capital. It has just passed under a triumphal arch built for the occasion at the barrier of la Villette - the granting pavilions built at the end of the Ancien Régime by the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux around the capital were then still all in square. Most of them will be destroyed during the Second Empire when Paris was enlarged and during the work carried out by Haussmann, the La Villette rotunda being one of those which were spared at the time. The bow was stretched in blue (the arms of France being the golden lilies on a blue background), white, the color of the monarchy, being abundantly widespread in various decorations and in particular in the many flags which float on the columns. they are also temporary. The sovereign has stopped: he is received by the Parisian municipality, headed by the prefect of the Seine, the Comte de Chabrol. The link is obvious with the old royal entrances where the monarch was received by the aldermen of Paris led by the provost of merchants: it is a modernization of old traditions that we are witnessing here.
As a former officer of the Empire, Lejeune was perhaps not the best politically placed painter to commemorate the event. The paintings of battles he had made a specialty of, however, earned him great fame. So his talent enabled him to account for a complex scene with multiple characters, combining the spontaneity of the touch with the precision of the execution. Almost contemporary with its subject, this painting cannot be seen as a truly accurate account of the event. The coronation was indeed misunderstood by most of the population (it was rumored that "the king had made himself bishop"). A few months earlier, several reactionary laws had been submitted to the Chamber of Peers, in particular that on the birthright and that on sacrilege, which, for the first, marked a step backwards compared to the Napoleonic Civil Code, and for the second, the even closer alliance of the throne and the altar. The coldness of the public was thus noticed precisely when Charles X entered Paris. Without prejudging the talent of its author, this work is therefore that of a skilful courtier.
- Charles X
- farmers general wall
Claire CONSTANS National Museum of the Palace of Versailles. The paintings , 2 vol.Paris, RMN, 1995.José CABANIS Charles X, ultra king Paris, Gallimard, 1972.Francis DÉMIER 19th century France Paris, Seuil, coll. "Points Histoire", 2000.François FURET The Revolution, 1780-1880 Paris, Hachette, 1988, re-ed. "Pluriel", 1992.Emmanuel de WARESQUIEL, Benoît YVERT History of the Restoration: birth of modern France Paris, Perrin, 1996.
To cite this article
Pascal TORRÈS, "The entry of Charles X into Paris"