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Title: Napoleon and the 'new Rome' : rebuilding Imperial Rome in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Paris
Author: Tollfree, Eleanor
ISNI:       0000 0001 3534 5138
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2000
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In this thesis, I shall consider the influence of imperial Rome on the monumental architecture of Napoleonic Paris. Critics have often condemned Napoleonic architecture for its 'decadence,' and suggested that it illustrates the 'decline' of 'Neo-classicism' in France. Alternatively, the Napoleonic monuments have been regarded merely as propaganda for the new regime. A particular problem is that the Hellenocentric tradition of the History of Art has tended to write out the 'Romanness' of Napoleonic art. Yet a unique architectural relationship developed between Paris and Rome in the second half of the eighteenth century. Central to this relationship was the study of Roman buildings undertaken by the students at the Academie de France A Rome. The onset of the Revolution gave architects the opportunity to design 'Roman' monuments and festival structures in Paris and Rome, and the Revolutionaries embraced the iconography of the Roman Republic. However, it was only with the rise to power of Napoleon and his coronation as Emperor of the French that Paris was established as the 'new Rome'. Inspired by the building projects of the emperors of ancient Rome, Napoleon created his own 'forum' in the heart of imperial Paris. This featured the display of spoils in the 'new Capitol', the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, and nearby, the Colonne d la Grande Armee in the Place Vendome. To start with, Napoleon attempted to erect monuments which implied his affiliation to the first emperor of Rome, Augustus, who had secured his position in the name of the Republic and brought peace and prosperity to Rome. But by 1810, it was clear that the emperor Trajan represented a more appropriate imperial model for Napoleon. Trajan was renowned for his military leadership, but also for engaging Rome in constant war.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Paris ; Neoclassical art