An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french

Delve deeper into Napoleonic history here in our section on the history of the two empires. Alongside a section for those just starting, there are many articles, images with commentary, close-ups and special dossiers for the serious Napoleonic enthusiast.

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Napoleon I, King of Italy

Artist: APPIANI Andrea (1754-1817)

Date: c. 1805

Technique: Oil on canvas

Dimensions : H. 0.985 m; W. 0.745 m

Place: Musée national napoléonien de l'Île d'Aix

Subjects: Decorations, Italy, Napoleon (King of Italy)

Key words: Appiani, crown, laurel, eagle, Légion d'honneur, collar, sash

Credits: © RMN


Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte in his «petit habillement» (undress costume) for the occasion of his coronation in Milan in 1805. The emperor is wearing the laurel crown of the Emperor of the French, created by Biennais, of which only one leaf remains (held in Fontainebleau). His hand rests on the crown of the King of Italy (purchased from the Parisian jeweller Marguerite and today found in the Museo del Risorgimento, Milan) and he is wearing the Grand Collar, badge and sash of the Légion d'honneur. Absent from this painting are the crown of the Lombard Kings (today in the Cathedral of Monza) and the insignia relating to the order of the same name, founded after Napoleon's coronation. About twenty versions exist of this painting, produced by Appiani and his students. Notable versions are held by the Schatzkammer in Vienna, Dalmeny House in Scotland, and the Museo del Risorgimento in Milan.


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