The baptism of fire of the Restoration

The baptism of fire of the Restoration

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Title: Louis XVIII assists the Tuileries with the return of the army from Spain.

Author : DUCIS Louis (1775 - 1847)

Creation date : 1824

Date shown: 02 December 1823

Dimensions: Height 143 - Width 110

Technique and other indications: (December 2, 1823) Oil painting on canvas

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

Contact copyright: © RMN-Grand Palais (Palace of Versailles) / Gérard Blot

Picture reference: 87EE1195 / MV 6837

Louis XVIII assists the Tuileries with the return of the army from Spain.

© RMN-Grand Palais (Palace of Versailles) / Gérard Blot

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

A victorious war, the baptism of fire of the white flag

The Congress of Vienna and then the Treaties of Paris had reorganized the borders of Europe and favored the reestablishment of reactionary regimes. Chateaubriand, who represents France, manages to convince the other representatives to entrust his country

a military operation ordered by the Duke of Angoulême, nephew of Louis XVIII and son of the future Charles X. The success of this first French military intervention since Waterloo could only consolidate the Restoration

Image Analysis

To the glory of the Bourbons

Exhibited at the Salon of 1824 and immediately purchased by the administration, the painting commemorates the parade of victorious troops who, on their return from Spain, descended the Champs-Elysées to the Tuileries. But if they are visible in the background of the painting, the emphasis is above all on the royal family, particularly highlighted, the balustrades in the foreground, the curtains and the fleurdelized canopy framing the characters thus staged as in the theater. . In the center of the painting Louis XVIII, seated on his throne, receives the Duke of Angoulême. This one is presented by his father, Monsieur, Count of Artois, brother of the king and heir to the throne (on which platform he also sets foot). The inheritance line of the Bourbons is completed by the little Duke of Bordeaux, grandson of Charles X, who, in the arms of his mother, the Duchess of Berry, and all dressed in white, salutes the troops with his cap plumed with feathers white with her sister, Mademoiselle. The Duchess of Angoulême, daughter of Louis XVI, is also present. The courtyard is massed on the left.

Interpretation

Ducis, consciously or not, takes up the favorite themes of official propaganda: the unity of the Bourbon family, which shows the example of all the private virtues, but also the external successes of the Restoration which erased the failure and the final defeats of the imperial epic, the white and the lilies of royalty making you forget the tricolor of the Revolution and the Empire. We know, however, that politically Louis XVIII did not get along with his brother, or that the Duchess of Berry did not like the Duchess of Angoulême, his sister-in-law. And the Duke of Angoulême was not fooled: according to Marshal de Castellane's recollections, he could not help but murmur during the parade: "This is the biggest boast since Don Quixote. "Ducis knew how to skilfully conceal these aspects and mix the representation of a public ceremony with a demonstration of family unity, in the manner of the" troubadour "painters to whom he approaches by the choice of his subjects as by his pictorial treatment, privileging a smooth porcelain surface effect. He thus gives, in a medium format, a table that is both theatrical and intimate which, for the spectator, was to bring the royal family close while keeping it a distant dignity encouraging respect.

  • Bourbons
  • spain expedition
  • Louis XVIII
  • Paris
  • propaganda
  • Restoration
  • Holy alliance
  • Tuileries
  • Chateaubriand (François-René de)

Bibliography

Bartholomew BENNASSAR History of the Spanish Paris, Laffont, coll. "Book", 1992. Claire CONSTANS National Museum of the Palace of Versailles: Paintings , 2 vol.Paris, RMN, 1995.Francis DEMIER 19th century France Paris, Seuil, coll. "Points Histoire", 2000.François FURET The Revolution, 1780-1880 Paris, Hachette, 1988, reed. "Pluriel" collection, 1992.Evelyne LEVER Louis XVIII Paris, Fayard, 1988.Emmanuel de WARESQUIEL, Benoît YVERT History of the Restoration: birth of modern France Paris, Perrin, 1996 Bartholomé BENNASSAR History of the Spanish Paris, Laffont, coll. "Points Histoire", 2000.François FURET The Revolution, 1780-1880 Paris, Hachette, 1988, reed. "Pluriel" collection, 1992.Evelyne LEVER Louis XVIII Paris, Fayard, 1988.Emmanuel de WARESQUIEL, Benoît YVERT History of the Restoration: birth of modern France Paris, Perrin, 1996.

To cite this article

Pascal TORRÈS, "The Baptism of Fire of the Restoration"


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