Coronation of Napoleon, 1804

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The Coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte as the Emperor of the French and Empress Josephine at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on this day in 1804, in the presence of Pope Pius VII. The lavish Coronation aimed to bring legitimacy to the new Emperor, who had been elevated as a result of a popular referendum the previous month. Emperor Napoleon was overthrown in 1814, and apart from a brief restoration in 1815, the Napoleonic dynasty wasn’t restored until 1852, with the Second French Empire being abolished in 1870.

I had the delight of seeing Jacques-Louis David’s Coronation of Napoleon during my visit to the Louvre.


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