Medal with double portrait of Napoleon and Marie-Louise, on the occasion of their marriage
Jean-Bertrand Andrieu (1761-1822)
In 1810, Napoleon and the young Marie Louise of Habsburg Lorraine were joined in marriage: the event was also celebrated by commemorative medals including this one, which is signed on the bust in the foreground. The work of one of France's leading practitioners of this art, the medal is a fine work by the artist Jean-Bertand Andrieu, who studied under André Lavau in his native Bordeaux and was later active in Paris. In 1791, he produced a commemorative coin for the storming of the Bastille, then became the leading medallist of the Napoleonic era; with Dominique-Vivant Denon, director of the Mint, he executed numerous medals relating to historical events. This double portrait, in which the Emperor wears a laurel wreath, was created by Andrieu from a design by Vivan Denon, the man who founded the Musée Napoleon with the works stolen from Europe during the leader's campaigns.