AdorningÂ the lower section of the southeast pillar of theÂ Arc de Triomphe de l’Ã‰toile,Â (facingÂ Avenue de Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es)Â is aÂ sculptured high relief, executed by Jean-Pierre Cortot depicting NapolÃ©on. In it NapolÃ©on is crowned by Victory wearingÂ antique vestments pressing a sword against his chest. In the background, to the right is a profiled kneeling man symbolizing a prisoner enchained at the feet of the victor. While to the left is an allegory of a city, with a crenelated crown kneeling before the conqueror whose protective hands extends over her. AboveÂ (and depicted here)Â winged Fame sounds a trumpet while bearing a standard as she soars across a palm tree, (ironically an image evoking the Egyptian expedition, theÂ French Campaign in Egypt and Syria from 1798 to 1801).
So really why would I bother sharing so much about this imagery? Maybe it’s simply to illuminate the depths of a culture committed faithfully to resolving some sense of peaceÂ from the attack on one of their beloved city’s. Could you blame them?Â – Michele