Coronation of Napoleon I
On December 12, 1804 — a Sunday —, Napoleon I was coronated inside Notre-Dame de Paris. The moment was immortalized by French painter Jacques-Louis David on the painting above, which now rests at the Louvre. The whole ceremony was designed to be very different from the coronation of previous French rulers, marking what Napoleon intended to be a new era for France. For example, though Pope Pius VII was present, many of the details of the religious ritual were carried out differently, and it was Napoleon who, remarkedly, placed the crown on his own head. On the link below, you can learn more about details and curiosities of the ceremony:
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), also known as Napoleon I, was a French military leader and emperor who conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century. Born on the island of Corsica, Napoleon rapidly rose through the ranks of the military during the French Revolution (1789-1799). After seizing political power in France in a 1799 coup d’état, he crowned himself emperor in 1804. Shrewd, ambitious and a skilled military strategist, Napoleon successfully waged war against various coalitions of European nations and expanded his empire. However, after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812, Napoleon abdicated the throne two years later and was exiled to the island of Elba. In 1815, he briefly returned to power in his Hundred Days campaign. After a crushing defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, he abdicated once again and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, where he died at 51.