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Title: France receives the Constitutional Charter from Louis XVIII.
Author : BLONDEL Merry Joseph (1781 - 1853)
Creation date : 1827
Date shown: 1815
Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0
Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas. Full title: France, in the midst of French legislator kings and jurisconsults, receives the Constitutional Charter from Louis XVIII.
Storage location: Louvre Museum (Paris) website
Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais
Picture reference: 89CE2067 / INV 2627
France receives the Constitutional Charter from Louis XVIII.
© Photo RMN-Grand Palais
Publication date: March 2016
On the death of Louis XVIII in 1824, his brother the Comte d'Artois (1757-1836) acceded to the throne and carried the name of Charles X to the Three Glorious Years. Have pompous ceremonies painted on the ceiling of a room where no penetrate that high magistrates did not draw consequence.
Inscribed in an octagon, the composition is organized on a cloud. Louis XVIII is installed at the top of a group of figures that mixes allegories and French sovereigns. Before the king bows France. On each side of his throne, Justice (balance on the arm) and perhaps Prudence which would be an allusion to the political risk taken by the constitutional monarch.
Flying over the scene, the goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom, Minerva. On the left, Henri IV. On the right, Louis XIV. At the bottom, the figure of the Charter who holds the hand of justice on one side and the tables of the law on the other. The sleeping child on the book symbolizes the security of citizens guaranteed by the code. Below, a view of the Louvre from the Seine evokes the city of Paris.
This allegory seeks to represent a balance between monarchical emblems from the Ancien Régime and more constitutional representations such as the law. Louis XVIII chose to bypass the term "constitution" which was still too marked with a revolutionary imprint and resorted to the old term "charter". He dates this charter to the “nineteenth year” of his reign to found his royal legitimacy in the suite of Louis XVII who died in 1795. The Charter is at the heart of the significance of this painting. It is this which translates into the letter the balance between the social values resulting from the Revolution and the Empire, and the spirit of the Ancien Régime.
- Constitutional Charter
- Louis XVIII
Geneviève BRESC-BAUTIER The Louvre: history, architecture, decorations Paris, Assouline, 1999. Benoit YVERT and Emmanuel de WARESQUIEL History of the Restoration 1814-1830: birth of modern France Paris, Perrin, 1996.Pierre ROSANVALLON The Impossible Monarchy: the charters of 1814 and 1830 Paris, Fayard, 1994.André JARDIN and André-Jean TUDESQ The France of the Notables 1.General Evolution 1815-1848 Paris, threshold, coll. "Points-Histoire", 1973.
To cite this article
Nathalie de LA PERRIÈRE-ALFSEN, "France, […], receives the Constitutional Charter from Louis XVIII"