“What I value above all is greatness: what is grandiose is always beautiful.”
This minimalistic engraving depicts the imperial N, beneath which we have drawn an elegant bow with two olive branches inspired by the Empire style.
The olive tree, associated with the goddess Athena, is a symbol of strength, victory and reward. In ancient Greece, those who damaged an olive tree on the Eleusinian Plain were brought to justice. In Rome, this tree was dedicated to Jupiter and Minerva, two deities of the Capitoline triad. This symbol perfectly matches the figure of Napoleon, who chose the eagle of Jupiter as his symbol.
Napoleon was tied closely to ancient superstition and liked to observe certain omens, much like a Roman general on the eve of battle. That is why we tied the olive branches with a knot. In Roman culture, the knot is a talisman of preservation. It also echoes the famous myth of the Gordian knot that sealed the fate of the Persian Empire when Alexander sliced it with his sword. This engraving therefore combines elements of ancient culture, a culture dear to the Emperor who drew a great deal of inspiration from the past. These symbols are intended to pay homage to this cultivated figure in French history.