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Symbols of Power: Statues in Nineteenth-Century Provincial France

  • William Cohen (a1)

Extract

Maurice Agulhon, in his classic French historical study, revealed how the changing political fortunes of Republicanism were reflected in the many metamorphoses that statues of the Republic had undergone in the century after the French Revolution. This study and a number of important works by North Americans, like those of James Leith and Lynn Hunt, are also important in making us understand French political iconography.

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1 Agulhon, Maurice, Marianne into Battle-Republican Imagery and Symbolism in France, 1789–1880, Lloyd, Janet, trans. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981).

2 Leith, James A., The Idea of Art as Propaganda in France, 1750–1799—A Study in the History of Ideas (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965); idem, Media and Revolution-Moulding a New Citizenry in France During the Terror (Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1968); Hunt, Lynn, Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984; idem, Hercules and the Radical Image in the French Revolution,” Representations, 2 (Spring 1983), 95117.

3 Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities-Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983); Weber, Eugen, Peasants into Frenchmen (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1976).

4 Laugier, M. A., An Essay on Architecture, Wolfgang and Herrmann, Anni, trans. (Los Angeles: Hennessey and Ingalls, 1977), 124–5; Diderot (quoted in Leith, Media, 43).

5 Grégoire (quoted in Hunt, “Hercules,” 97).

6 Decree of 11 August 1792, cited in Edouard Pommier. “Naissance des musées de province,” in La Nation, II, pt. 2 of Les lieux de mémoire, Nora, Pierre, ed. (Paris: Gallimard, 1986), 468; on the general themes of iconoclasm during the Revolution, see Idzerda, Stanley J., “Iconoclasm during the French Revolution,” American Historical Review, 60 (10 1954), 1326.

7 Prefect Pressac, quoted in: Loirette, Gabriel, “Histoire d'une statue á Louis XVI de Raggi,” Revue historique de Bordeaux, 36 (1943), 70.

8 Ibid., 52–82.

9 Fabre, Augustin, Histoire de Marseille, II (Marseille: Manus Olive, 1829), 640–1, 663; Francois Dutacq, Une statue lyonnaise de Napoleon ler,” Revue des etudes napolioniennes, 15 (1926), 3151; Durkheim, Emile, Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse (Paris: F. Alcan, 1912), 219–21.

10 Séance (meeting), 22 February 1831, Marseille, , Déliberations du conseil municipal, antée 1830–1831 (Marseille: Gravier et fils, 1876), 24.

11 Scott, John, A Visit to Paris in 1814 (London: Longman, 1815), 63.

12 Foucault, quoted in Baker, Keith Michael, “Memory and Practice: Politics and the Representation of the Past in 18th Century France,” Representations, 11 (Summer 1985), 134.

13 Temps (newspaper), 10 10, 1888; Agulhon, Marianne, passim.

14 Vingtrinier, Aimé, “Une statue à Pierre Dupont,” Lyon Revue, 2 (1881), 675.

15 Dépêeche de Toulouse (newspaper), 7 11 1903.

16 Collombet, F. Z., “Des Statues en general,” Revue du Lyonnais, 12 (1840), 235.

17 Lyon, L. Boitel, ancien et moderne (Lyon: Boitel, L., 1838), i; Conseil général des Bouches-du-Rhône, ler session ordinaire de 1894, Procès verbaux de délibérations, śeance, 10 04 1894; Mayor of Dôle, 10 April 1896, T 408, Archives du département du Rhône (henceforth abbreviated as ADR).

18 Gironde, Petite, 10 07 1905; d'Agnel, Abbe Arnaud, Marseille et le second obéilisque de Louqsor (Valence: Imprimerie Valentinoise, 1906), 9..

19 Geertz, Clifford, “Centers, Kings, and Charisma: Reflections on the Symbolics of Power,” Rites of Power: Symbolism, Ritual and Politics since the Middle Ages, Wilentz, Sean, ed. (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985), 25.

20 Minister of Interior circular (reprinted in Petite Gironde, 25 May 1878); Goulemot, Jean-Marie and Walter, Eric, “Les centenaires de Voltaire et de Rousseau,” La République, I, of Les lieux de mémoire, 7 vols. Nora, Pierre, ed. (Paris: Gallimard, 1984), 388, 395–7, 403, 409; Sanson, Rosemonde, “La 'fete de Jeanne d'Arc' en 1894-controverses et célébrations,” Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, 20 (07-08 1973), 446–7, 452–4; the extreme right quite successfully appropriated the Maid in the twentieth century, see Hanna, Martha, “Iconology and Ideology: Images of Joan of Arc in the Idiom of the Action francaise, 1908–1931,” French Historical Studies, 14 (Fall 1985), 215239.

21 Appeal of 4 August 1882 and 1908 program, T 408, A.D.R.

22 Hobsbawm, Erik, “Mass-Producing Traditions: Europe, 1870–1914,” The Invention of Tradition, Hobsbawm, Erik and Rangers, Terence, eds. (London, 1983), 272; “Comité pour ériger à Sèvres un monument à Danton et à Gambetta,” Sèvres, 6 February 1909, 3001 M3, Archives Municipales de Bordeaux (henceforth abbreviated as AMB); Dormoy, Jacques, “Le monument à la mémoire des Girondins,” Revue historique de Bordeaux et du département de la Gironde, (1955), 63. Collombet, F. Z., “Des Statues en general,” Revue du Lyonnais, 12 (1840), 235.

23 For Baudin's statue, for example Marseille, see Conseil municipal, Délibérations, 4 06 1886, 247; one of the rebels of Var in 1851, Martin-Bidouré, was also to be celebrated: “Souscription nationale pour l'érection d'un monument à la mémoire de Martin-Bidouré,” 1901, T 408, A.D.R.; for Ledru-Rollin, see for instance Conseil général des Bouches-du-Rhône, 2e session ordinaire de 1880, Procès verbaux de délibérations, séance 30 08 1880, 308; Ferry, , Dépêche de Toulouse, 27 07 1896; Conseil général meeting of Rhône, 12 April 1907, T 408, A.D.R.

24 Conseil général des Bouches-du-Rhône, 2e séssion ordinaire de 1880, seance 30 August 1880, Procès verbaux des délibérations, 380; Marseille, , conseil municipal, Délibérations, 02 18, 1881, 88; Temps, 17 02, 1881, 20, 25 February, 9 March, 1881; Masson, Paul, Les Bouches-du-Rhône: Encyclopédie départementale, XI (Marseille: Archives départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône, 1926), 313; Petite Gironde, 3 12 1900; Speech by Bordeaux Mayor Daney at inaugural, Petite Gironde, 26 April, 1905; Petite Gironde, 9 June 1903, similar phrases in the attempt of the city of Sèvres to raise monies for monuments for both Danton and Gambetta, “Comité pour ériger à Sévres un monument à Danton et à Gambetta,” 10 August 1908, T 408. A.D.R.; a similar role was played by the statue to Gambetta erected in Paris in the Carousel garden facing the Arc de Triomphe, June Hargrove, “Les statues de Paris,” in “La Nation, II, Pt. 3 of Les lieux de mémoire, Nora, Pierre, ed. (Paris, 1986), 255.

25 Note, May 9, 1896, 3016 M1, AMB; “Anon, “Le Monument Carrot à Bordeaux,” Bordeaux, 1896.

26 Marseille, , Conseil municipal, Délibérations, 22 09 1887, 408; séance 27 June 1910, Bulletin officiel de le muncipalité de Lyon, 289; circular from Comité pour Ferection d'un monument à Auguste Blanqui à Puget-Théniens,” 10 March 1904, T 408, A.D.R.; Circular from Marcou, president of the conseil general of Aude to build a statue in Barbès' hometown, Carcassonne, n.d., T 408, A.D.R.

27 Dépêche de Toulouse, 7 07 1900, 301 1901.

28 Petite Gironde, 1 07 1903, 1307 1903.

29 Muller, Delie, “Monument aux Girondians, les bassins,” Musie d'Aquitaine (Bordeaux, 1982).

30 Ariste, Louis and Braud, Louis, Histoire populaire de Toulouse (Toulouse: Midi republicain, 1898), 760; Molinier, T. Baurens de, Souvenirs d' un vieux chanoine (Paris, Victor Retaux, n.d. [1905]?), 397; Marie-France Brive, “La politique économique de la ville de Toulouse de 1870 à 1880.” (Unpublished Diplôme d'études supérieures, University of Toulouse, 1967); Temps, 24, 25 06, 5, 10, 1707 1881.

31 Temps, 5 06, 4 07, 7 07, 1878.

32 “Comité du monument Michel Servé, Vienne(Isère), 1101 1906.

33 Bulletin officiel de la municipalité de Lyon, 4 11 1913, 152–9.

34 Christie, Richard Copley, Etienne Dolet, le Martyr de la renaissance, sa vie et sa mort, Stryienski, Casimir, trans. (Paris: Fischbacher, 1886).

35 Bulletin officiel de la municipalite de Lyon, 4 11 1913, 153–4.

36 Nouvelliste, , quoted in Anonymous, Une infamie- la statue d'Etienne Dolet en face de la Basilique de Fourvière (Lyon, 1912). In front of the Sacre-Coeur in Paris, a statue to a freethinker had also been erected: that of Chevalier de la Bane.

37 Petite Gironde, 7 08 1905; reported in Dépêche de Toulouse, 8 08 1904.

38 Meeting, 15 July 1878, Marseille, conseil municipal, Délibérations, 266–7.

39 Lhuys, Drouyn de, “Projet d'élever une statue à Daubenton,” Société impériale zoologique (1861); Association scientifique de France, “Souscription pour élever un monument à la mémoire de Le Verrier,” (1878); Vachez, M. A., “Histoire de la Statue d'André-Marie Ampére,” Mémoires de l'académie des sciences, belles lettres et arts de Lyon, 2nd ser., 26 (1889), 293313; Comu, Inauguration de la statue d'André-Marie Ampére,” Mémoires de l' académie des sciences, belles lettres et arts de Lyon, 2nd ser. Mémoires, 26 (1889), 315–22; “La statue d'Auguste Comte,” Bulletin mensuel, no. 1 (1900), copy in T 408, A.R.

40 “Monument à élever stir une des places publiques de Dijon à la mémoire du Général Garibaldi,” August 1898, 3001 M3, AMB.

41 “Commission centrale du monument à élever à Ambroise Paré,” 1836, F 21. 588, Archives nationales (henceforth, abbreviated as “A.N.”)

42 Commision Report, séance 9 08 1873, Lyon, Procés verbal, 183.

43 Bordeaux Conseil Municipal, séance 5 February 1889.

44 “Cornité du monument de Vercengétorix,” Clermont-Ferrand, 6 January 1899, 3001 M3, AMB.

45 Guerrier, Jacqueline, “L'imagerie gauloise a Sens,” Nos ancêtres Gaulois. Acres du colloque international de Clermont Ferrand, Viallaneix, Paul and Ehrard, Jean, eds. (Clermont-Ferrand: Presses universitaires de Clermont-Ferrand, 1982), 289.

46 “Erection d'une statue au Maréchal de Villars,” 15 September 1893, 3001 M3, AMB.

47 Hargrove, , “Les statues de Paris,” 256.

48 “Monument à êlever à la mémoire du Tambour d'Arcole,” n.d. [received 29 May 1893], 3001 M3, AMB.

49 “Monument Desaix,” Saint-Gervais d'Auvergne (Puy de Dôme), n.d. [1890s], 3001 M3, AMB.

50 “Monument de la Tour d'Auvergne,” 1897, T 408, A.D.R.

51 Ville de Rethel, 18 August 1895, T 408. A.D.R.

52 Conseil général des Bouches-du-Rhône, ler session ordinaire de 1889, Procès verbaux des delibérations (Marseille: L. Sauvion, 1889), 235; “Souscription nationale pour l'érection d'un monument à la mémoire du Maréchal Canrobert à Saint-Ceré (Lot),” 1895, T 408, A.D.R.

53 Goulemot, and Walter, , “Les centenaires,” loc. cit.; Anon., Un monument Lyonnais à Jeanne d'Arc, Pourquoi? (Lyon: Grange et Refoubelet, 1910), 10; Séance 10 July 1878, Commune de Crotoy (Département of Somme), copy in T. 408, A.D.R.; Conseil général des Bouches-du-Rhône, 2e session ordinaire de 1880, Procés verbaux de delibérations, séance 20 08 1880, 100–1, séance 24 August 1880, 112–3; “Monument national à élever à I'honneur de Jeanne d'Arc devant la maison où elle est née à Domrémy (Vosge),” 12 June 1890, 3001, AMB.

54 Mayor of Vauvert (Gard) to president of Conseil Général, 2 April 1908.

55 “Oeuvre du monument Faidherbe à Saint-Quentin,” 25 February 1908; “Comité pour l'érection d'un monument au Capitaine Menard,” 1895, T 408, A.D.R.; “Monument TreichLaplene”, n.d. [1890s], 3001 M3, AMB.

56 “Comite pour l'érection d'un monument à Doudart de Lagrée,” May, 1891, 3001 M3, AMB.

57 Depêche de Toulouse, 12 10 1897. Similarly (in the council general of the Gironde), a Socialist councilor argued that the least that could be done for the French dead of the Madagascar expedition was to build a monument for them, thus memorializing those who died “in adventures in which the owners of property and capital profit. Since a man must fight when he owns nothing … it is right that those for whom he ran all the dangers, risked his life, don't forget him.” Session of 17 April 1896, Conseil général of Gironde.

58 “Souscription nationale pour l'érection d'un monument à la mémoire des Alsaciens-Lorrains morts pour la France en 1870–1871 et depuis, dans les expéditions coloniales,” 1901, T 408, A.D.R.; “Monument à la défense nationale à édger à la mémoire des soldats tués en 1870–1871,” 2 October 1885, 3001 M3, AMB; Mayor of Bruville (Meurthe et Moselle) to Mayor of Bordeaux, 5 March 1892, 3001 M3, AMB.

59 “Monument commémoratif militaire. Remiremont (Vosges),” 31 August 1893, 3001 M3, AMB.

60 A. Vigneau, “Rapport général stir la question du monument départemental aux enfants de la Gironde morts pour la patrie, 1870–1871,” séance of 16 December 1910, Conseil general, Gironde.

61 Ibid., 9.

62 Petit Provencal, 27 03 1894.

63 Clément de Lacroix, Les morts pour la patrie- tombes militaires et monuments élevés a la mémoire des soldats tués pendant la guerre (Paris: Author, 1891), 16.

64 Dépêche de Toulouse, 20 08 1901.

65 Commission report, Procés verbaux, City of Lyon, 9 08 1873, 183.

66 Letter from Mayor of Chateaudun (Eure et Loire) to Mayor of Bordeaux, 21 May 1891, 3001 M3, AMB.

67 Rapport présenté au conseil municipal par M. G. Girard, meeting 8 December 1891, F 1., C. I, 40, A.N.; Lacroix, 8.

68 Ville d'Arbois (Jura), “Monument Pasteur,” 30 October, 1895, 3001 M3, AMB.

69 Letter (undated) from Muret in 3001M3, AMB.

70 “Cotnite pour l'erection d'une statue à Paul de Kock, 1901,” 3001 M3, AMB; “Statue à Francois Millet, Ville de Cherbourg,” 1 February 1887, 3001 M3, AMB; “Procès verbaux de la remise officielle à la municipalité Bordelaise du monument élevé à Léon Gambetta,” [1905] 3019 MI, AMB; “Souscriptions accordées par la ville de Grenoble pendant la période 1870–1903 pour l'érection de statues ou de monuments publics,” [1903] 3001 M3, AMB; Letter from Mayor of Bezenas to Mayor of Bordeaux, 22 December 1895, 3001 M3, AMB.

71 Agulhon, Maurice, “Politics, Images, and Symbols in Post-Revolutionary France,” Rites of Power, Wilentz, Sean, ed., 194.

72 Clifford Geertz, “Centers, Kings, and Charisma: Reflections on the Symbolics of Power,” Rites, 25,16. Some excellent examples of how royalty attempted to mark its possession of the kingdom by effecting a national tour are given in the description of the tour of Charles IX and the Mother Queen Catherine of Medicis in 1564 and of Louis XIV in 1643, in Guenée, Bernard, “Des limites féodales aux frontieres politiques,” La Nation, Pt. 2 of Les helix de mémoire, Nora, Pierre, ed. 28, 40.

73 Gadoffre, Gilbert, “French National Images and the Problem of National Stereotypes,” International Social Science Bulletin (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), III (Autumn 1951), 579.

74 Hargrove, , “Statues de Paris,” 271; Ozouf, Mona, “Le Panthéon-l'école normale des morts,” La République, I, of Les lieux de mérnoire, Nora, Pierre, ed. (Paris: Gallimard, 1984), 163.

75 Weber, Eugene, Action Francaise-Royalism and Reaction in Twentieth Century France (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1962), 42.

76 Aronoff, Myron J., “Ideology and Interest: The Dialectics of Politics,” Political Anthropology, Yearbook, I, Aronoff, Myron J., ed. (New Brunswick, N.J., 1980), 1718.

77 The indifference to statuary after World War I may have been exaggerated by Ozouf. Frenchmen registered some concern over the smelting down of the Republican statuary during Vichy and the German occupation; in Paris an official bulletin recognized the “legitimate and touching emotion of the populations who see the disappearance of the well known monument which is dear to them.” In the provinces, the authorities had to deal with popular opposition to removal of statuary: Hargrove, , “Statues de Paris,” 274–5.

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