Louis-Philippe, "king of the French"


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Title: Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, takes an oath on the Charter.

Author : GERARD, Baron François (1770 - 1837)

School : Romanticism

Creation date : 1834

Date shown: 09 August 1830

Dimensions: Height 222 - Width 156

Technique and other indications: Replica ordered in 1834 for the Musée de Versailles of the original painting ordered on 23 November 1833 for the Chambre des Pairs.Oil on canvas

Storage location: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

Picture reference: 89EE187 / MV 5210

Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, takes an oath on the Charter.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

Publication date: August 2014

Historical context

On July 27, 28 and 29, 1830 - the Three Glorious Days - the Parisian revolution triumphed over authoritarianism and the ordinances of Charles X. Duke Louis-Philippe hesitated and then accepted.

On July 31, at the Hôtel de Ville in Paris, the representatives of the people - La Fayette in the lead - entrusted him with the lieutenant general of the kingdom. The charter of 1814 was amended: the monarchy was no longer a divine right but a constitutional right;

le tricolor

, inherited from the Revolution and the Empire, replaced the white flag. The regime became truly parliamentary.

On August 9, in the presence of the two chambers, Louis-Philippe took an oath to respect this new version of the charter. He became the "king of the French".

On the following August 29, at the Military School, he solemnly handed over his flags to the National Guard: the citizen-king thus displayed his concern to defend the Fatherland, a virtue that the Revolution had illustrated and that he himself had defended on the battlefields of Valmy and Jemmapes in 1792, before emigrating.

Image Analysis

These two emblematic events of the founding and values ​​of the July Monarchy are the focus of this portrait of Louis-Philippe painted by Baron Gérard, three years after the events of 1830.

The throne is still there, marked with the monogram of the new king and topped with a decorative crown. But all the other traditional insignias of the monarchy have disappeared. From August 9 the gesture of the king’s oath was retained, his right hand ostensibly placed on the charter of 1830, the inscription standing out clearly on the blank page. On August 29, the king’s uniform, that of General of the National Guard, was borrowed.


Baron Gérard, already official painter to Louis XVIII and Charles X, takes up here the general composition of the series of great royal portraits inaugurated by that of Louis XIV by Rigaud.

The king is represented full-length, life-size, at the bottom of the steps of the throne. But all the insignia of the absolute monarchy of divine right are replaced, almost on a case-by-case basis, by others symbolizing royal power in the constitutional monarchy. The crown, the scepter and the hand of justice, until then exhibited or painted posed on a cushion and a stool draped in blue or purple velvet, gave way to the only charter of 1830. Louis-Philippe abandoned the royal mantle of the coronation of Reims and its lilies to wear the uniform of the National Guard where the three colors invented during the first attempt at constitutional monarchy in 1790 are represented in several places (sleeves, bicornuate).

Thus, the novelty of the July Monarchy was rooted in the strong tradition of the French monarchy. By the smile that the king sketches, one can measure his hope that his sucker will take root.

  • Constitutional Charter
  • Orleans (of)
  • National Guard
  • Louis Philippe
  • July Monarchy
  • official portrait


Guy ANTONETTI, Louis Philippe, Paris, Fayard, 1994.

Francis DÉMIER, 19th century France, Paris, Seuil, coll. “Points Histoire”, 2000.

Muriel VIGIÉ, The Official Portrait in France from the 5th to the 20th century, Paris, FVW, 2000.

Philippe VIGIER, The July Monarchy, Paris, PUF, coll. "What do I know? », 1982.

To cite this article

Pierre SESMAT, "Louis-Philippe," king of the French ""

Video: All Presidents, Emperors, and Kings of France


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