The fall of the Bourbons

The fall of the Bourbons

  • Charles X, presenting, after his abolition, the Count of Chambord to the National Guard.

  • Embarkation of Charles X and his family.

    ADAM Victor-Jean (1801 - 1866)

  • Death of Charles X.

To close

Title: Charles X, presenting, after his abolition, the Count of Chambord to the National Guard.

Author :

Date shown: 02 August 1830

Dimensions: Height 41 - Width 52

Technique and other indications: Print

Storage place: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - Photographer unknown

Picture reference: 74-003886 / invgravures4058

Charles X, presenting, after his abolition, the Count of Chambord to the National Guard.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - Photographer unknown

To close

Title: Embarkation of Charles X and his family.

Author : ADAM Victor-Jean (1801 - 1866)

Date shown: August 16, 1830

Dimensions: Height 26.5 - Width 35

Technique and other indications: Lithography.Full title: Embarkation of Charles X and his family in Cherbourg for exile in 1830.

Storage place: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - Photographer unknown

Picture reference: 76-004256 / invgravures4332

Embarkation of Charles X and his family.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - Photographer unknown

To close

Title: Death of Charles X.

Author :

Date shown: 06 November 1836

Dimensions: Height 65 - Width 74

Technique and other indications: Woodcut of wire, paper with stencil. Gangel printing press.

Storage place: MuCEM website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - T. Le Magesite web

Picture reference: 05-526558 / 5039755D

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - T. Le Mage

Publication date: October 2009

Historical context

Having become king on September 24, 1824 on the death of his brother Louis XVIII, Charles X inaugurated his reign with a few liberal measures, including the abolition of newspaper censorship, "to reassure public opinion". However, he cannot bring himself to be just a constitutional king: he himself says that he would rather "saw wood than rule like the King of England". With the help of Joseph de Villèle (1773-1854), head of government and leader of the ultraroyalists, he therefore implemented a policy that reflected his manifest desire for a return to the old order.

On April 20, 1825, the sacrilege law established the death penalty for desecration and theft of consecrated objects. Despite the aid given to Greece to gain independence from the Ottoman Empire and despite the capture of Algiers (July 6, 1830), the king's unpopularity was at its height.

The victory of the opposition in the legislative elections of 1827 forced Charles X to set up the liberal ministry of Viscount de Martignac on January 5, 1828, but this lull did not last: on August 8, 1829, Martignac was replaced by Jules de Polignac, an ultra royalist. The people of Paris rise up on July 27, 28 and 29: these are the Trois Glorieuses. On August 2, Charles X abdicated in favor of his grandson, the Duke of Bordeaux, and set out for a new exile.

Image Analysis

The sinking of the reign of Charles X, his exile and his death have given a great deal of inspiration to painters, caricaturists and lithographers, and have given rise to a rich iconography, often of popular origin.

The first print represents the castle of Rambouillet, where the king and his family took refuge after the Three Glorious Days. On August 2, 1830, he renounced the throne in favor of his grandson, Henri Dieudonné, Count of Chambord and Duke of Bordeaux. He presents his successor to the National Guard, who will never reign.

The second print is the work of Victor-Jean Adam (1801-1866). Son of the engraver Jean Adam, this artist entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1814, at the age of thirteen. He had been a pupil of Charles Meynier (1763-1832) and Baron Regnault (1754-1829), before being noticed at the Salon of 1819. Illustrator, painter of history and genre scenes, he excelled in art of lithography and leaves nearly eight thousand plates, including a series of engravings reproducing the Parisian revolutionary events of July 1830. This represents Charles X leaving Cherbourg on August 16, 1830 for his English exile. The king embarks on the Great Britain, a sailboat chartered and commanded by Captain Dumont d'Urville. He is accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Angoulême, the Duchess of Berry and the Duke of Bordeaux, and a large suite which required the charter of a second ship, the Charles-Carroll.

The third engraving, for its part, evokes the death of Charles X. In the terrestrial part of the image, the dying king is surrounded by members of his family: the Duke and Duchess of Angoulême, the Duke of Bordeaux kneeling in foot of the bed, and his sister, seated. Standing near the bed, the priest points to the sky where, on a cloud, is represented the royal ancestry of the sovereign. Under the radiating symbol of the Trinity are thus represented, among others, Louis XVIII, Louis XVII, Louis XVI, Henri IV, and even Charlemagne and Joan of Arc. Clearly religious in inspiration, this lithograph thus emphasizes the dynastic legitimacy and the divine character of the fallen monarch.

Interpretation

On August 2, 1830, Charles X, taking refuge in the Château de Rambouillet, was forced to abdicate. He convinced his son, the Dauphin Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, to also renounce the throne in favor of the Duke of Bordeaux. On August 3, before the assembled Chambers, the Duke of Orleans, lieutenant general of the kingdom, announced the abdication of the last of the Bourbons, failing to specify for whose benefit it was co-signed. He was proclaimed King of the French by the Chambers under the name of Louis-Philippe I: it was the beginning of the July Monarchy.

Charles X, meanwhile, reaches the port of Cherbourg and embarks with his family for Portsmouth, England. He retired first to Holyrood Castle, Scotland. Thanks to his rather close relations with the Habsburgs of Austria, he moved to Prague Castle on October 25, 1832. He established friendly ties with the Czech nobility. In May 1833, he received a visit from François-René de Chateaubriand. In his Memories beyond the grave, the writer left a vivid description of the loneliness of the fallen monarch. In May 1836, when cholera raged in Bohemia, Charles X and his family were welcomed to Goritz, near Trieste in the Veneto, where the epidemic overtook them. The king died on November 6, 1836. He was buried in the crypt of the Capuchin convent of Goritz, where Madame Royale, the Duke of Angoulême and the Duke of Bordeaux joined him who, in 1871, would not be able to seize the opportunity. of a new restoration of the Bourbons on the throne of France.

  • Bourbons
  • Charles X
  • Restoration
  • Three Glorious
  • National Guard

Bibliography

Guillaume BERTIER from SAUVIGNY, Restoration, Paris, Flammarion, 1955.José CABANIS, Charles X, ultra king, Paris, Gallimard, 1972.Francis DEMIER, 19th century France, Paris, Le Seuil, coll. “Points Histoire”, 2000. Éric LE NABOUR, Charles X, the last king, Paris, Lattès, 1980.Daniel MANACH, Descendants of Charles X, King of France, Paris, Christian, 1997. Jean VIDALENC, The Restoration 1814-1830, Paris, P.U.F., coll. "What do I know? », 1983.Emmanuel de WARESQUIEL and Benoît YVERT, History of the Restoration: Birth of modern France, Paris, Perrin, 1996. Nathalie JAKOBOWICZ, The People of 1830: Revolutions and Social Representations, Rennes, P.U.R., 2009.

To cite this article

Alain GALOIN, "The fall of the Bourbons"


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