A must-see

article | Reading time7 min

The National Convention

Convention nationale avec deux oeuvres de Kieffer

Monument in the monument, discover this work of the XXth century, celebration of the Republic in the Panthéon.

To the glory of the Revolution

A public commission

Originally intended for the Tuileries gardens, the National Convention was finally installed in the Panthéon, in place of the former altar in the apse  .

The project was entrusted to the artist François-Léon Sicard, who took nearly 4 years to complete this work! Indeed, its dimensions are important: it measures 6.40 meters high and 9.60 meters long.

The creation is not unanimous at its presentation ceremony in 1911. The press and the virulent criticisms are numerous because of its imposing size and its entirely mineral aspect.

La Convention Nationale dans le noir
La Convention Nationale éclairée

© Philippe Berthé / Centre des monuments nationaux

In detail

Did you recognize the major element in the center of the composition? The Marianne of course! Throned above the inscription "Live free or die", its allegory represents the Republic.

The other figures are designed in a more realistic style. Observe the contemporary clothing and body movements!

On the left are the deputies taking the oath. On the right, you can see General Hoche on horseback with the Republican soldiers.

Proportionate to the height of the building, the sculpted group is specifically designed so that one can admire the work "La Gloire" by Detaille, located at the back.

Visage de la Marianne de la Convention Nationale
Visage de la Marianne de la Convention Nationale

© Benjamin Gavaudo / Centre des monuments nationaux

A mixture of symbols

As with most monuments of the Third Republic, the message is direct: to celebrate the advent of the first Republic, reaffirming its values.

This work manifests the cult of the fatherland, honor, combat and freedom. Its primary function is not simply aesthetic, its main characteristic is the duty of memory.

Détails de la Convention nationale
Détails de la Convention nationale

© Benjamin Gavaudo / Centre des monuments nationaux

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