Napoleon III hands to Baron Haussmann the decree annexing the Parisian suburban communes
Paris, Musée Carnavalet
In Paris, Napoleon III had an ambitious policy of urban regeneration. And he brought this policy to fruition through the talents of Baron Haussmann, Préfet of the Seine. On 1 January,1860, 11 communes were annexed: Auteuil, Passy, Les Batignolles, Montmartre, La Chapelle, La Villette, Belleville, Charonne, Bercy, Vaugirard and Grenelle. The French capital thus leapt from 12 to 20 arrondissements and from 3,288 to 7,088 hectares.
Commissioned by the Conseil Municipal in commemoration of the event, this painting was not liked and was refused because of its lack of grandeur. Yvon painted a second work which showed the imperial couple, the Préfet and the Conseil Municipal wearing their court robes. Since that latter work went up in flames with the Tuileries Palace in 1871, today the only version of the event is the one that was refused.