"Charlemagne at Notre-Dame de Paris" Notre Dame de Paris Tip by von.otter
Notre Dame de Paris, Paris: 652 reviews and 1,336 photos
?The owner of the Emperor Charlemagne, such as he appears in bronze in front of Notre Dame of Paris, is in a sad plight.?
? from the Pall Mall Gazette, appearing in the New York Times, 13.April.1889
Louis Rochet began this colossal work in 1852, under the Second Empire of Napoléon III, whose uncle, Napoléon I, often referenced Charlemagne as a means to give credibility to his own empire building. A full-sized plaster model was made, at the artist?s own expense, of the work and exhibited in 1867 at the World?s Fair.
When Rochet died before he could finish the work, so had the Second Empire failed. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870, which pushed Napoléon III?s government over the edge, left bitter feelings in the hearts of the French for anything German. Charlemagne?s Germanic roots raised serious reservations about the work when Louis?s brother, Charles, attempted to persuade the City of Paris or the national government to purchase the work. Neither city nor state rose to the occasion.
In January 1879, the most that would be done was to grant permission to exhibit the bronze for three years in the plaza in front of Notre-Dame de Paris. Debate of the fate of Rochet?s equestrian bronze by the public and the city fathers was intense. The following month, February, 1879 the city council approved the proposal to accept the sculpture.
The inscription on the base reads ?Charlemagne et ses Leudes.? Leude is a traditional word of chivalry meaning noble companion or guard of the chief. Therefore the inscription translates as Charlemagne and his noble guard.
Address: Place du parvis de Notre Dame , 75004
Directions: Métro: Cité; RER: Châtelet-Les Halles, Saint Michel-Notre Dame
Phone: +33 1 42 34 56 10
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