Napoléon and Marie-Louise Portrait Plaques

  • These bronze portrait plaques capture the Emperor Napoléon and Empress Marie-Louise
  • The stately pair are based on the official medals by Bertrand Andrieu
  • The medals were issued by the Paris Mint between 1808 and 1813 to commemorate the imperial marriage
  • Similar plaques are found in important museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-9929

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A truly imperial pair, these bronze portrait plaques of Emperor Napoléon and Empress Marie-Louise represent a celebration of the couple’s wedding festivities. The stately pair are based on the official medals by Bertrand Andrieu that were issued by the Paris Mint between 1808 and 1813 to commemorate the imperial marriage.

Capturing the Archduchess Marie-Louise with a diadem and Napoléon with a crown of laurel leaves, the medals were design to imitate the coins of the ancient Greeks. This association was of the utmost importance to Napoléon; throughout his reign, he sought to align himself with the great rulers of the past. Emblems of power from antiquity – including the laurel wreath - became an integral part of his attempt to strengthen his position of power. The present plaques, crafted after the medals during Napoléon’s lifetime, are exceptional relics of this tradition.

Similar bronze plaques of Napoléon and the Archduchess Marie-Louise are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) and the Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge); examples of the original medals are found in collections around the world, including the Met, the British Royal Collection (London), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and others.

Circa 1808

5 1/2" diameter
Napoléon and Marie-Louise Portrait Plaques
Period: 1700-1815
Origin: France
Type: Sculpture
Width: 5.5 Inches
Height: 5.5 Inches
Style: Neoclassicism

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