The Vendôme Column

I already posted about the “Vendôme Column” a number of times, e.g. here, here and here…  and I told how the Napoleon statue has been replaced, that the column has been torn down, re-erected…  In my latest post I said that the column was under renovation. Now, since a couple of months it looks like “new”. I thought it was worth showing some details again.

Let’s read the inscription on the base of the column in approximate translation: “Napoleon, the august emperor, has dedicated this column to the honour of the Grand Army, a monument made of bronze, seized from the enemy during the German war in 1805, a war which under his leadership was finished in three months.” This obviously refers especially to the battle of Austerlitz.  

It’s quite amazing to see all the details in some kind of a spiral, 280 m (920 ft) long, representing different war scenes, executed by a number of sculptors under the leadership of François Rude. (I talked about him e.g. here and here.) The bronze used is said to come from some 1.200 captured canons.

Maybe a special attention could be paid to the little openings, giving a bit of light to the interior staircase…

… and especially to the “F II” that you can find a bit everywhere. This of course refers to the defeated Francis II, the last “Roman Emperor”, a title he gave up after the Austerlitz battle. He was later known as Francis I, emperor of Austria and King of Hungary…  After some other defeats against Napoleon, we must remember that in order to confirm peace with France, in 1810 he also “offered” his daughter Marie-Louise to become the wife of Napoleon.  


claude said...

Super les détails !
J'aime le lampadaire à trois têtes.
Je n'arrive toujours pas à ce que ton blog apparaisse au jour le jour.
Je viens de bidouiller un truc, là, je ne sais pas si ça va marcher.

rosienanjirowe said...

Thank you peter
You make Paris come alive in new and surprising g ways
So refreshing to read some factual details

Unknown said...

I love that part of the city!
Thank you, Peter.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea to have a monument covered with Prussian and Austrian metal! And in the middle of that handsome octagonal square no less! And those buildings of Corinthian architecture that surround it? Absolutely lovely!

As Peter tells us, this crowning glory of a monument was destroyed once, but the Republic under Adolphe Thiers repaired and replaced it to its original shape.
No doubt thanks to the influence of Talleyrand, the beloved mentor of his youth, Thiers was always sympathetic to the cause of Napoleon.

Loved to learn about that "F II" detail of the column. Emperor Francis was widowed three times. Together with Caroline, his fourth and last wife, the Emperor lovingly brought up his daughter's son with Napoleon, that beautiful child nicknamed L'Aiglon.

Thank you so much for this tour and for your fantastic photos.

Jeanie said...

Very nice photos, Peter. And interesting, too!