Marriage of Leopold Ier, King of the Belgians, and Louise of Orleans

Marriage of Leopold I<sup>er</sup>, King of the Belgians, and Louise of Orleans

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Title: Marriage of Leopold Ier, King of the Belgians, and Louise of Orleans, August 9, 1832.

Author : COURT Joseph-Désiré (1797 - 1865)

Date shown: August 9, 1832

Dimensions: Height 90 - Width 116

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas

Storage place: National Museum of the Château de Compiègne website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet web site

Picture reference: 91DE583 / MV 5122

Marriage of Leopold Ier, King of the Belgians, and Louise of Orleans, August 9, 1832.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet

Publication date: May 2005

Historical context

Personal friend of Louis-Philippe, Léopold de Saxe-Cobourg, however, did not obtain the hand of Louise d'Orléans, daughter of the king, when he made his first marriage proposal in 1830. The marriage between Léopold and the king's daughter des Français thus enshrined the friendship between the two States.

Image Analysis

The scene takes place in the chapel of the Château de Compiègne. The marriage between the King of the Belgians Léopold I, the Founder, and Princess Louise-Marie of Orléans, eldest daughter of Louis-Philippe, is celebrated by the Archbishop of Cambrai, Louis Belmas. We recognize the main members of the two royal families, including King Louis-Philippe and Queen Marie-Amélie. Due to the smallness of the place, the court took its place on the rostrum of the chapel, set back from the monarchs. The ceremonial decoration, traditional in the pomp of the monarchy, appears in the gold-embroidered hangings that adorn the gallery and in the high altar candlesticks, offering a perspective that is not unlike the representation of Napoleon's wedding. 1st with Marie-Louise by Rouget. However, it is in a more intimate, more family atmosphere despite the formal constraints, that Court insists, contrasting with remarkable finesse the seriousness of the princes to the mimicry of the kneeling princesses in the second row.

Interpretation

As this marriage of the King of the Belgians to the daughter of the King of the French was looked upon with kindness by England and offered guarantees of alliance with France, it seems easily conceivable that Louis-Philippe wanted to immortalize this ceremony in which his diplomatic skill exploded. Not only was the house of Orleans showing here its solidity and its seniority with regard to the very young Belgian monarchy, but France was thus regaining strength on the international level. Commissioned in 1837 for the historical galleries of Versailles, this scene from Court heralded, in the museographic journey of the citizen-king, the pacification of international relations after the war episodes initiated by the Revolution and perpetuated by the Empire. It seems natural that Louis-Philippe wanted Court to be chosen for this commission: his art as a worldly portrait painter, often representing generals, people of the world, ecclesiastical dignitaries, suited this task particularly well.

  • Belgium
  • Orleans (of)
  • Louis Philippe
  • wedding
  • July Monarchy
  • alliance policy

Bibliography

Guy ANTONETTILouis PhilippeParis, Fayard, 1994.Anne MARTIN-FUGIERThe Daily Life of Louis-Philippe and his Family 1830-1848Paris, Hachette, 1992.Philippe VIGIERThe July MonarchyParis, PUF coll. "What do I know? », 1982.

To cite this article

Robert FOHR and Pascal TORRÈS, “Marriage of Léopold Ier, King of the Belgians, and Louise of Orléans ”


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