Thierry Lentz (Ed.): Le Sacre de Napoléon (The consecration of Napoleon)

2004lentzSacreLe 2 décembre 1804, Napoleon was anointed and crowned at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Symbolized by the large painting by David, this mythical ceremony marvelled by lovers of the legend, was first a spectacular but ambiguous event which still perplexes the historians. How was the consecration organised, with its complex protocol? The book shows that a prodigious organisation was necessary to prepare the ceremony in a very short time.
The difficulty was increased by endless negotiations with the entourage of the Pope on the place of religion in this solemn ceremony that ended with a civil oath. Even though the Sacre was not the sole basis of the imperial regime, it appeared to be necessary to Napoleon. The contrasting reactions of his contemporaries, who attended the procession in Paris, and artists testimonials complete this panorama.This original work, both a historical essay and a study of imperial iconography is illustrated with nearly 180 works, of which many are rare or unknown.
Contributors to this book: Émilie Barthet, Hicks, Peter Hicks, Huguenaud Karine, Chantal Prevot and Pierre Bontemps.
Paris : Editions of the Fondation Napoleon – Nouveau Monde Editions, 2003, Not part of a collection, 192 pages, 180 illustrations. Language: French. To order visit the website Nouveau Monde Editions.