Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Emperor and the Pope

On this day in 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France. If you examine David's painting of this event you will notice the then Pope, Pius VII, sitting in the background. Some accounts indicate that the Pope was meant to crown Napoleon but at the appointed time the French general took the crown from the Pope's hands and crowned himself. More recently Frederick J Baumgartner suggests in his book, Behind Locked Doors, that the events that took place on that day were previously arranged. In any case, the Pope looks pretty glum!

No comments: