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Le Napoléon législateur de Chaudet, symbole moderne de la translatio imperii

Guillaume Nicoud


This article studies the translocations of a major marble statue by the French sculptor Antoine Denis Chaudet representing Napoleon as a Legislator, which was considered the most important imperial effigy of the First Empire. After 1814-1815, the work was sent to Prussia – first to Berlin, then to Potsdam – before being transferred to Leningrad in 1945. It is now kept in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Beyond the prosaic dimension of these translocations, a significant symbolic value also appears in such a destiny.