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Franck (French) 
Colonne Vend˘me 
1871 
  
Albumen silver print, from glass negative 
Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1953, Accession Number: 53.704.8 
  
 
LL/111358 
  
Curatorial description (Accessed: 11 June 2021)
On May 16, 1871, a group of Communards led by the painter Gustave Courbet pulled down the Vend˘me Column. In Franck's photograph its shattered remains litter the Place Vend˘me.
 
Modeled on the ancient Column of Trajan in Rome, the Vend˘me Column was built by Napoleon I in the first decade of the nineteenth century as a glorification of the victorious French soldiers who defeated the Russian-Austrian alliance at the Battle of Austerlitz; the seventy-six battle-scene bas-reliefs that spiral up the shaft were cast from the bronze of 250 captured Russian cannons. Louis-Philippe crowned the column with a statue of Napoleon in 1833, and Napoleon III replaced it thirty years later with another of Napoleon in Roman costume. 
 

 
  
 
  
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