A Life of Napoleon Bonaparte / With a Sketch of Josephine, Empress of the French. Illustrated from the Collection Of Napoleon Engravings Made by the Late Hon. G. G. Hubbard, and Now Owned by the Congressional Library, Washington, D. C., Supplemented by Pi

Ida M. Tarbell

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Descrizione
With a Sketch of Josephine, Empress of the French. Illustrated from the Collection Of Napoleon Engravings Made by the Late Hon. G. G. Hubbard, and Now Owned by the Congressional Library, Washington, D. C., Supplemented by Pictures from the Best French Collections....

Profile in plaster. By David d’Angers. Collection of Monsieur Paul le Roux. This energetic profile presents considerable artistic and iconographic interest. It is the first rough cast of the face of Bonaparte on the pediment of the Pantheon at Paris. Some months ago, Baron Larrey told me an interesting anecdote regarding this statue. The Baron, son of the chief surgeon to Napoleon I., and himself ex-military surgeon to Napoleon III., happening to be with the emperor at the camp of Châlons conceived the noble idea of trying to save the pediment of the Pantheon, then about to be destroyed to satisfy the Archbishop of Paris, who regarded with lively displeasure the image of Voltaire figuring on the façade of a building newly consecrated to religion. 

At the emperor’s table, Baron H. Larrey adroitly turned the conversation to David, and informed the sovereign, to his surprise, that the proudest effigy of Napoleon was to be seen on this pediment. Bonaparte, in fact, is represented as seizing for himself the crowns distributed by the Fatherland, while the other personages receive them. On hearing this, Napoleon III. was silent; but the next day the order was given to respect the pediment. The plaster cast I reproduce here is signed J. David, and dates from 1836. The Pantheon pediment was inaugurated in 1837.—A. D.