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The Coronation

Jacques Louis David French

Not on view

By the dawn of the nineteenth century, it must have been evident to David that his path to glory would depend on Napoleon’s favor and patronage. A chance to prove himself came with the commission for a suite of four large canvases depicting the official events around Napoleon’s coronation as emperor, which took place in the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris on December 2, 1804, and marked the transformation of France into an empire.

This compositional study has long been considered the product of two hands, with the architectural and decorative elements by David’s friend, Ignace Degotti, a set designer for the Paris Opéra.

The Coronation, Jacques Louis David (French, Paris 1748–1825 Brussels), Graphite, with areas reworked in pen and black and brown ink

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