The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is a triumphal arch in Paris, located in the Place du Carrousel on the site of the former Tuileries Palace. It was built between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate Napoleon's military victories of the previous year. The more famous Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile nearby was designed in the same year, but it took thirty years to build and is about twice the size.
The monument is 63 feet (19 m) high, 75 feet (23 m) wide, and 24 feet (7.3 m) deep. The 21 feet (6.4 m) high central arch is flanked by two smaller ones, 14 feet (4.3 m) high, and 9 feet (2.7 m) wide. Around its exterior are eight Corinthian columns of marble, topped by eight soldiers of the Empire. On the pediment, between the soldiers, bas-reliefs depict:
- The Arms of the Kingdom of Italy with figures representing History and the Arts
- The Arms of the French Empire with Victory, Fame, History, and Abundance
- Wisdom and Strength holding the arms of the Kingdom of Italy, accompanied by Prudence and Victory.
Napoleon's diplomatic and military victories are commemorated by bas-reliefs executed in rose marble. They depict:
- the Peace of Pressburg
- Napoleon entering Munich
- Napoleon entering Vienna, sculptor Louis-Pierre Deseine
- the Battle of Austerlitz, sculptor Jean-Joseph Espercieux
- the Tilsit Conference
- the surrender of Ulm, sculptor Pierre Cartellier
The arch is, of course, derivative of the triumphal arches of the Roman Empire; in particular that of Septimius Severus in Rome
. The subjects of the bas-reliefs devoted to the battles were selected by the director of the Napoleon Museum (Paris) (located at the time in the Louvre), Vivant Denon, and designed by Charles Meynier.
The upper frieze on the on entablement has sculptures of soldiers: Auguste Marie Taunay's cuirassier (left), Charles-Louis Corbet's dragoon, Joseph Chinard's horse grenadier and Jacques-Edme Dumont's sapper.
The quadriga atop the entablement is a copy of the so-called Horses of Saint Mark that adorn the top of the main door of the St Mark's Basilica in Venice but during both French empires the originals were brought up for special occasions.