Ceremonial frock coat belonging to Marshal Lannes

All the major dignitaries of the Empire, including princes, marshals, generals or members of important civilian bodies, were required to wear their richest clothing for major public ceremonies. But originality was not permitted, since the clothing had to respect a very detailed code, recalling the wearer's title and rank.

About the work

 

 

Ceremonial frock coat belonging to Marshal Lannes (1769-1809) © Paris - Musée de l'Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Pascal Segrette

 

The epitome of a ceremony of this kind was Napoleon's coronation as emperor in 1804. It was the occasion for a great display of luxury. The opulence was organised in a rational manner, so to speak, since the portrait painter Jean-Baptiste Isabey was asked to design all the costumes.

 

This frock coat belonging to Marshal Lannes, one of Napoleon's closest confidants, stands out from the designs Isabey made for the other marshals, since it "falls" straight. This is a "French-style" frock coat, flared towards the front, like the ones worn before the French Revolution. 

 

 

Ceremonial frock coat belonging to Marshal Lannes (1769-1809) © Paris - Musée de l'Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Pascal Segrette

 

The ceremonial frock coat is the same as an imperial marshal's coat and is very similar to an army uniform coat, but of higher quality. Woollen cloth has been replaced by silk velvet. The waistcoat and breeches are also made of silk. The extreme richness of the golden embroidery is very impressive and covers a large part of the coat's surface. The pattern forms the branches of an oak tree, the symbol of the Empire's marshals and generals.

 

Detail of the ceremonial frock coat belonging to Marshal Lannes
© Paris - Musée de l'Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Pascal Segrette

 

Label

 


Date : Circa 1804-1809

Width : 0,33 m and Height : 1,18 m

Inventory no. : 22830

Techniques : Silk velvet, gold thread embroidery, purl

Materials: Silk and gold

History : Chayoux bequest 1981

Place of creation : Paris