The Brumaire coup d’etat

Period : Directory / 1st Empire
Artist(s) : BOUCHOT François
Share it
The Brumaire coup d’etat

General Bonaparte at the Conseil des Cinq-Cents at Saint-Cloud, 10 November, 1799
Versailles, Musée National du Château

This, the best-known representation of the coup d’etat, was a commission by king Louis-Philippe for the Musée Historique de Versailles, an institution founded in 1837 with the aim of fostering national reconciliation. The painting shows the critical moment when Bonaparte, shouted down by the Conseil des Cinq-Cents, jostled and threatened, is finally forced out of the audience chamber by some grenadiers. A military intervention thus became necessary in order to begin the parliamentary coup d’etat.
That the work was exhibited at the Salon of 1840, the year of the ‘Retour des Cendres’ (when Napoleon’s corpse was repatriated from Saint Helena to Paris), gives evidence for the resurgence of the Napoleonic legend during the July Monarchy.

Date :
Technique :
oil on canvas
Dimensions :
H = 421 cm, L = 401 cm
Place held :
Musée National du Château de Versailles
Photo credit :
© Photo RMN-Grand Palais
Share it