The reduction replica of the Vendome Column (also known as the Austerlitz Column or as the Column of the Grand Army) in Paris, examined here, was much more than just a simple souvenir bought by some foreign traveler making a Grand Tour sweep through Europe.
1) Interesting as the medallions may be, my present focus is upon the architectural model of the Vendome Column and what it has to say about France in the age of Napoleon and about the nineteenth century in general.
When Captain Nash purchased his miniaturized rendition of the Vendome Column he probably was given the choice of several different versions and sizes.
Perhaps thinking ahead to his own imperial ambitions, Napoleon proposed to crown this Vendome column with a statue of the legendary Charlemagne.
When completed in the late summer of 1810, the Vendome Column rose some 145 feet above the Place Vendome, surpassing the height of its Roman inspiration by almost 25 feet.
Once the monarchy had been securely restored, King Louis XVIII ordered a gigantic Bourbon fleur-de-lis flag to be flown (in lieu of a statue) from the top of the Vendome Column.
In as much as the Vendome Column is a monument devoid of all artistic value, tending to perpetuate by its expression the ideas of war and conquest of the past imperial dynasty, which are reproved by a republican nation's sentiment, citizen Courbet expresses the wish that the National Defense government will authorize him to disassemble this column.
The book's nine chapters present histories of French "memory objects" or "locations," ranging from the destruction of the Vendome column
in May 1871 to the "tango-mania" of pre-1914 Paris.
As a historical reference, Creischer and Siekmann provided photographs of the Paris Commune of 1871: Fighters on the barricades and the toppled Vendome column
inaugurate the field of photojournalism as the democratic medium par excellence of the late nineteenth century.