GÉRARD, François
(b. 1770, Roma, d. 1837, Paris)

The Coronation of Charles X

Oil on canvas, 514 x 972 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Chartres

This is a case where a comparison will give a good idea of how differently the same subject was handled by Jacques-Louis David and one of his numerous pupils. The pupil was François Gérard who was also commissioned to paint a coronation, that of Charles X in 1827. The heavy draperies of the baldachin (brocade canopy), the costumes and the sweeping gestures look back to the Baroque, as might be expected at the Restauration. It is significant that the centre of the painting is not occupied by the act of coronation but by the bishop, who is standing with his back to the king, his eyes raised in suppliance to heaven.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.