Napoleon, idol of the people under Louis-Philippe

Napoleon, idol of the people under Louis-Philippe


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  • Pair of water pitchers in the shape of "Napoleon" and "Joséphine".

    ANONYMOUS

  • "Napoleon" waffle mold.

    ANONYMOUS

  • Scarf "Legion of Honor".

    ANONYMOUS

To close

Title: Pair of water pitchers in the shape of "Napoleon" and "Joséphine".

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1830

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 30 - Width 13.5

Technique and other indications: earthenware

Storage place: National Museum of Malmaison Castle website

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

Picture reference: 01DE14514 / MM.60.9.3 (1 & 2)

Pair of water pitchers in the shape of "Napoleon" and "Joséphine".

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

To close

Title: "Napoleon" waffle mold.

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1840

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 22.5 - Width 8.5

Technique and other indications: Iron sheet

Storage place: National Museum of Malmaison Castle website

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

Picture reference: 01CE14532 / MM.85.1.14

"Napoleon" waffle mold.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

To close

Title: Scarf "Legion of Honor".

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1840

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 80 - Width 91

Technique and other indications: printed silk

Storage place: National Museum of Malmaison Castle website

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

Picture reference: 95CE15849 / N.319

Scarf "Legion of Honor".

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet

Publication date: April 2014

Historical context

“Always him! Him everywhere! ", Exclaimed Victor Hugo in The Orientals (1829), to which Auguste Barbier replied in "L’idole" (Legs (1831): “Again Napoleon, still his great image! "From the Restoration, in fact, the demi-pays, former demobilized soldiers of the Empire, began to circulate innumerable Napoleonic objects. The production was immense, varied, unusual, and made use of all the supports, techniques and materials.

Image Analysis

In addition to the objects presented here, there are also pocket knives, inkwells, table bells, candlesticks in the shape of Napoleon, snuff boxes or various boxes decorated with portraits of the Emperor or battle scenes, representations of the tomb of the Emperor, statuettes, plates decorated with Napoleonic subjects, etc. In the absence of an invasion of Europe, Napoleon was everywhere in things. From the most everyday to the most luxurious, there was something for all budgets, because these objects were distributed to different social categories, from the worker and the peasant to the liberal bourgeois.

It was not trivial in the first part of the 19th century to own an object of this type, especially under the Restoration. It was to display loudly his Bonapartist, liberal opinions. This is why certain objects such as scarves were only printed under Louis-Philippe: it was impossible to show oneself with a Napoleonic handkerchief tied around the neck under the reign of Charles X. Printed scarves were moreover more the fact of the workers - most of them made of cotton - only bourgeois. The one shown here, in silk and bearing the Legion of Honor, must have belonged to either a former officer or a newly decorated one. It is indeed an already luxurious work, which can be dated from 1840 given its central subject which allegorically represents "the flight of the eagle", that is to say the return of the ashes.

On the other hand, the pitchers and the waffle mold are indeed very popular objects, kitchen and tavern items, which should, however, only be shown to close friends or relatives whose opinions were known.

Interpretation

Signs of recognition between people of the same party, all these objects at the same time fall within one way or another of the propaganda more or less authorized under Louis-Philippe, the main period of production of all these objects. We will notice the presence of the Empress Joséphine, better accepted by the people than Marie-Louise, well highlighted in the imagery around 1814-1815 because mother of the King of Rome, but very quickly forgotten because daughter of the Emperor of Austria, enemy of France, and traitor to Napoleon.

  • bonapartism
  • Napoleonic legend
  • Hugo (Victor)
  • Louis Philippe
  • popular imagery
  • Restoration
  • Charles X
  • objects

Bibliography

Collective Napoleon. The Return of the Ashes. Death and Resurrection , exhibition catalog, Courbevoie, Roybet-Fould museum, 1990.

To cite this article

Jérémie BENOÎT, "Napoleon, idol of the people under Louis-Philippe"


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