Saturday, June 30, 2007
This is the one painting I can stare at for hours and never get tired of it.
The French artist David painted it and there are in fact TWO massive copies. One in the Louvre in Paris and one in the Versailles palace. I love most of David's Napoleonic paintings. No doubt I'll be posting these often.
The coronation was December 2, 1804. Napoleon chose to have the event at the Notre Dame cathedral, even though this was not the traditional place for coronations. He was starting a long history of rule breaking. "Vive l'Empereur!"
The one thing you always hear about this painting is how Napoleons mother appears even though she boycotted the actual ceremony. She didn't like Josephine...at all, but more about that later. The other gossipy comment is that Napoleon's three grumpy sisters were supposed to be helping Josephine with her long cape and that they purposefully dropped it while she was walking up the church aisle, stopping her in her tracks. I believe they are the inspiration for Cinderella's ugly stepsisters.
(The coronation ceremony took over five hours. My favorite Napoleon website gives you a breakdown by the hour.)
I used the coronation image on a pair of jeans I made last fall. You can peak at those on my website. They are truly over the top!