Click, click (#2): The Jesuit Church of St Michael

Here he is, as promised. Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, son of Josephine, stepson of Napoleon. The tomb in St Michael is a genuine masterpiece. It was made by Bertel Thorvaldsen, esteemed Danish sculptor. Ironically, Thorvaldsen is also responsible for the tomb of Pope Pius VII in St Peter, the pope famous for signing the Concordat of 1801, bringing revolutionary France back to the Catholic church (although with most of its power and belongings stripped away by Napoleon). Pius later excommunicated Napoleon, and was then arrested in Rome and taken as prisoner to France. (He is also the one in the background of David’s coronation painting, as Napoleon – sans liturgy – crowns himself and his Empress.)

The work by Thorvaldsen was commissioned by his wife Princess Augusta Amelia of Bavaria, daughter of the Elector Maximilian of Bavaria, later King of Bavaria – more or less by Napoleon’s decree. That is, both the wedding and the promotion from elector to king. Was Napoleon ever in Munich? Yes, at least twice that I know of, and of course one of the events was just following the battle of Ulm which I’ll write more about some other day. In fact, I’ve realised that Louvre’s Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel has a series of marble reliefs, one of which is Napoleon Entering Munich.

I’ll add it to the list of things to see in Paris. Why not.