The advent of the July monarchy

The advent of the July monarchy

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Title: The king gives the flags to the National Guard of Paris and the suburbs (August 29, 1830).

Author : COURT Joseph-Désiré (1797 - 1865)

Creation date : 1834

Date shown: August 29, 1830

Dimensions: Height 550 - Width 442

Technique and other indications: commissioned by Louis-Philippe for the Historical Museum of Versailles in 1834. Oil on canvas

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

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Arnaudet / J. Schormans

Picture reference: 83EE213 / MV 2789

The king gives the flags to the National Guard of Paris and the suburbs (August 29, 1830).

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - D. Schormans

Publication date: August 2014

Historical context

Image Analysis

The king distributes the flags

Commissioned in 1834, completed in 1836, Court's painting was intended for the decoration of room 1830 of the Musée de l'Histoire de France. It represents one of the highlights of the review of August 29, 1830: the handing over of the flags.

The review took place at the Champ-de-Mars, in front of the Military School, the pediment of which can be seen in the background. A tent had been erected for the king, in National Guard uniform, to distribute the flags before attending the parade.

The guard, like the nation, covered its three colors, replaced by the white flag under the Restoration. The whole picture features national colors, from uniforms to flags fluttering in the wind. The flag is adorned with the guard's new motto: Order and Freedom.

The leader of each battalion was to go to the royal tent, take the oath of loyalty to the Revised Charter and to the king (symbolized by the officer with his hand on his heart), and receive the flag.

The painting shows the king personally distributing the flags. In reality, it was General and Marquis de La Fayette, commanding the citizen legions, who made the distribution. He is here relegated to a corner of the web. In 1834, when the painting was commissioned, La Fayette, who had been removed from command of the guard in December 1830, joined the opposition. Court emphasizes the royal figure to the detriment of that of the deposed general.

Near the king are two of his sons, the Duke of Orleans, Crown Prince, and the Duke of Nemours, outlining a dynastic rhetoric. Among the royal staff is Marshal Mortier [1], who did not actually attend the 1830 review.


The coronation of the king of the barricades

"Never did a king seem to have collected so many titles of incontestable legitimacy as the king did after this review. The king was consecrated that day by the acclamations of these 50,000 bourgeois. These words from Cuvillier-Fleury, a liberal journalist, allow us to appreciate the symbolic importance immediately assumed by the magazine of August, the founding moment of the regime.

Compared to his main antecedent, The Army Oath made to the Emperor after the distribution of the eagles at Champ-de-Mars, December 5, 1805, painted by David in 1810, Court's painting shows the transition from a regime based on glory and military might to one that seeks legitimacy in popular support.

  • Champ-de-Mars
  • Orleans (of)
  • tricolour flag
  • National Guard
  • Louis Philippe
  • July Monarchy
  • La Fayette (Marquis of)


Alain CORBIN, "The impossible presence of the king", in Political uses of festivals in the 19th-20th century, Paris, Publications of the Sorbonne, 1994.

Louis GIRARD, The National Guard 1814-1871, Paris, Plon, 1964.

Mathilde LARRÈRE, "Thus paraded the king of the Barricades, the great royal reviews of the National Guard under the July monarchy", The Social Movement, no 179, April-June 1997.

Michael MARRINAN, Painting Politics for Louis-Philippe. Art and Ideology in Orleanist France, Yale University Press, 1988.


1. The painter owed him honor: Mortier had died at the July 1835 review, alongside the king, under the bullets of the regicide Fieschi.

To cite this article

Mathilde LARRÈRE, "The advent of the July monarchy"

Video: National anthem of the kingdom of France 1830-1848 the July Monarchy