“This dress and its train (known in French as a queue de cour) were worn by the wife of the Conseiller d’Etat, Jean Bérenger (1767-1850) (Comte de l’Empire in 1808), during the ceremony of the coronation of Napoleon I.
The dress is in ivory silk, delicately embroidered with silver and gold thread. On the shoulders there are small embroideries in ivory tulle. The train is made of scarlet velvet silk with a lining of white satin.
This ensemble was kindly loaned by the owner for the exhibition at the Musée Jacquemart-André, ‘The Treasures of the Fondation Napoléon’, 28 September, 2004, to 3 April, 2005.”
© Fondation Napoléon - Patrice Maurin-Berthier
“The first emblematic image of the Napoleonic myth, this painting exalts the virtues of the military leader, as embodied by the young General Bonaparte at the head of the Armée d’Italie. In reality, Arcole bridge was not crossed. But that is not important. Here the artist glorifies the episode and makes it part of the legend. Drive, courage, overpowering will pour out of this edgy yet passionate picture. Gros had in fact been present at the Battle of Arcole, and thanks to the intervention of Josephine, he managed to get Bonaparte in Milan to sit for him several times. What Gros highlights is the image of Bonaparte as the providential saviour, the conquering hero who leads his troops, sabre in hand, seizing victory through his bravery alone.”
This is one of my favourite things I have comes across while researching today: “Even the snuff were exploited in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to conceal small telescopes that were used to scrutinize passersby on theboulevards. They met with wonderful examples of snuff glasses in gold and precious stones. . . “
“Scented environments enameled brass-shaped building, complete with columns, guarding the main gate and the service. In the center of the side walls of the building is inserted a small telescope fixed focus.”
“Needle Holder ivory engraved with brass fixtures.On the bottom is inserted a telescope. It could also be used as a toothpick holder”
“Tobacco gilt brass oval, engraved motifs north-east. At the center of the telescope is fixed focus. It was used for snuff.”
“Tobacco and gold turtle. The body is completely turtle, while the interior and the moldings are gold.On the cover is inserted a portrait of Napoleon-sealed transparent semi-precious stones (carnelian). At the top there is a two-cannocchialino stretch.”
“Tobacco ivory and gold. On the cover is inserted in a composition of enamel, gold thread and dried flowers. At the top there is a two-cannocchialino stretch.”
“Fontainebleau was a favorite retreat for Napoleon. The furniture had been either destroyed or sold during the Revolution. Napoleon had the palace restored and refurbished. The furniture for the 600 rooms was either taken out of storage or ordered from cabinet-makers such as Jacob-Desmalter. In 1808, the king’s bedroom was altered into the throne room designed by Percier and Fontaine. The “Grand salon” and the Empress’s bedroom were also decorated in the Empire style. Napoleon’s suite was entirely remodelled and is the most spectacular Empire room. Pope Pius VII was held prisoner at Fontainebleau between 1812 and 1814. Napoleon spent his last days in the château before abdicating on April 6, 1814. Granted sovereignty over the island of Elba and a pension from the French government, Napoleon Bonaparte left Fontainebleau after his famous farewell speach on April 20th, 1814.”
Chambre de Napoleon, Palais de Fontainebleau
“I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart!” he writes to Josephine in 1795.
“Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses. But give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire,” the conqueror of Europe ends his letter, conceding defeat in the face of passion.