An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french


The Fondation Napoléon is a registered charity committed to the encouragement of
the study of and interest in the history of the First and Second Empires,
and the preservation of Napoleonic heritage.

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Melbourne (Australia), National Gallery of Victoria, 2012

From June to October 2012, the treasures of the Fondation Napoléon's collection are to fly around the world to Australia. As part of a partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, our collection is to form the centrepiece of the gallery's Winter Masterpiece show, Napoleon: Revolution to Empire. 
"Napoleon: Revolution to Empire" is a panoramic exhibition examining French art, culture and life from the 1770s to the 1820s. Its story runs from the first French voyages of discovery to Australia during the reign of Louis XV to the end of Napoleon's transforming leadership as first Emperor of France. With detailed sections on the French Revolution, the Directorate, Consulate and Empire, the exhibition will present the glittering luxury of Napoleonic France and the spectacular First Couple. Always with Australia as the watermark, there will also be a strong section devoted to the flora and fauna of the newly discovered continent, the southern part of which had been named Terre Napoléon or Napoleon-land by French navigators, highlighting Josephine's fascination for the exotic new plants and flowers of the continent and her private menagerie of kangaroos, emus and black swans.
In addition to pieces from our collection there are to be loans of incomparable interest drawn from Europe's most important Revolutionary and Napoleonic collections, including the Château de Malmaison, Château de Versailles, Musée Carnavalet and the Musée de l'Armée in France, the Napoleonmuseum Thurgau in Switzerland, and the Museo Napoleonico in Rome. 
Place: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Dates: 2 June - 7 October, 2012


Schallaburg (Austria) - Schloss Schallaburg, 2009
The product of a collaboration between the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna and the Fondation Napoléon, the exhibition "Napoleon, Feldherr, Kaiser und Genie" was on display at the splendid Schloss Schallaburg (Lower Austria) between 16 May and 1 November, 2009. Twenty-two sections, stretching across 1300m², retraced the extraordinary life of Napoleon Bonaparte and featured objects loaned from a large number of French and foreign institutions and collections, both public and private (including the Louvre, the Musée de Malmaison, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Albertina in Vienna, the Musées de l'Armée in Vienna and Paris, and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg). In total, more than four-hundred items were on display, including one hundred and ten objects from the Fondation Napoléon's own collection, including some that had never been seen in public before. This was one of the most important and comprehensive exhibitions organised by the Fondation in recent years, and marked the highpoint in the 2009 bicentenary celebrations of Napoleon's Austrian campaign of 1809.
Click here for more information.
Place: Schloss Schallaburg, Lower Austria
Dates: 16 May - 1 November, 2009
Curated by: Matthias Pfaffenbichler in collaboration with Bernard Chevallier and Karine Huguenaud
Scenography: Arno Grünberger
Catalogue: the catalogue is available in German.

 15/03/2009: SPLENDEURS DE L'EMPIRE - Autour de Napoléon et de la Cour impériale

Manderen (France), Château de Malbrouck, 2009

In the land of the three frontiers, the medieval château de Malbrouck was the location for an exceptional exhibition organised by the Conseil général de la Moselle in partnership with the Fondation Napoléon, with assistance from eighteen museums and cultural institutions, as well as numerous individual collections.

The exhibition included more than three-hundred works of art, objects, documents and historical artefacts which told the story of Napoleon Bonaparte, evoking the "great moments" of his life. But more than that, the collection on display also presented an image of society at the time, considered from different angles and contrasting points of view. Taking place across seven distinct sections ('Napoléon, regards sur un destin'; 'Reflets de Napoléon sur le grand écran'; 'le style "Empire", un sommet des arts décoratifs'; 'Napoléon en campagne(s)'; 'Napoléon, fondateur de la France moderne'; 'La cour et la famille impériales'; and 'Napoléon, la Lorraine et les départements de la rive gauche du Rhin'), "Splendeurs de l'Empire" was an interestingly conceived and innovative exhibition featuring a large number of masterpieces.
Click here for further information.

Place: Château de Malbrouck, Manderen
Dates: 15 March - 31 August, 2009
Curated by: Philippe Hoch and Dominique Laudien for the Conseil général de Moselle; Bernard Chevallier and Karine Huguenaud for the Fondation Napoléon
Scenography: Christian Septon
Catalogue: bilingual catalogue (French-German), available to buy from the publishers Serpenoise

 15/02/2008: NAPOLEONE FASTE IMPERIALE - I Tesori della Fondation Napoléon


In 2008, the Museo napoleonico in Rome chose to inaugurate their new temporary exhibition rooms with pieces from the Fondation Napoléon's collection. The scenography, with its modernisim and elegance, admirably exhibited the masterpieces of the collection in all their glory, as well as those borrowed from the Musée de l'armée and the Musée national de Malmaison, close partners of the Fondation Napoléon.
The second stage of this Franco-Italian collaboration saw the island of Elba welcome this exhibition to their marvellous Napoleonic museums, the Palazina dei Mulini, Napoleon's official residence at Portoferraio, and the Galleria Demidoff, at the foot of Villa San Martino. More than 70,000 visitors took time out from the island's heavenly beaches to come and admire these treasures of the Fondation's collection.
Place: Museo napoleonico, Rome, and Museo nazionale delle residenze napoleoniche, Portoferraio, Elba
Dates: Rome, 15 February - 25 May 2008; Elba, 12 June - 12 September 2008
Curated by: Bernard Chevallier, Giulia Gorgone, Karine Huguenaud, Roberta Martinelli, Maria Elisa Tittoni
Scenography: Rome - Piercarlo Crachi; Elba - Piero Castri (Opera Laboratori Fiorentini Spa)
Catalogue: the catalogue is available in Italian and is published by Sillabe (external link in Italian).


Lorient (France), Chambre de commerce et d'industrie, 2007
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Morbihan, created by imperial decree on 30 September 1807 celebrated its bicentenary by hosting an exhibition conceived by the Fondation Napoléon. Based primarily on pieces from the Fondation's collection, the exhibition described the Emperor's acts and decisions that encouraged trade and industry. The exhibition was completed with items loaned from the Archives nationales, the Archives du ministère des Affaires étrangères and the Bibliothèque-musée Marmottan and original scenography transformed the Art Deco of the main building's great hall into a Napoleonic campaign tent.
Place: Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie du Morbihan, Lorient
Date: 23 October - 23 November 2007
Curated by: Karine Huguenaud
Scenography: Pierre Combe


Berlin (Germany), French Embassy, 2006
On the occasion of the bicentenary, the French Embassy in Germany approached the Fondation Napoléon with the idea of holding an exhibition at the embassy itself, located at Parizer Platz opposite the Brandenburg Gate. About thirty objects and historical documents from the Archives du Ministère des Affaires étrangères, the Fondation Napoléon's collection and several private collections from France and Germany explored the relationship between Napoleon and Prussia. Important pieces on display included Francis II's act of renunciation of the title of Holy Roman Emperor dating from 6 August 1806 and the treaty that gave birth to the Confederation of the Rhine on 12 July 2806.
Place: French Embassy, Berlin
Date: 27 October - 27 November 2006
Curated by: Karine Huguenaud, Thierry Lentz

 14/02/2006: NAPOLEÓN

Monterrey (Mexico), Museo del Vildrio, 2006

Following its success in São Paulo and Paris, the Fondation Napoléon brought its collection, completed by items loaned from the Musée de l'armée and the Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois Préau to Monterrey, the provinicial capital of Nuevo Leon, in Mexico. A number of masterpieces, rarely displayed outside of France, made the long journey across the Atlantic, including one of Napoleon's hats, the primus inter pares of Napoleonic symbols. Other notable items on display included General Bonaparte's uniform from the battle of Marengo, Delaroche's iconic painting Napoléon Ier à Fontainebleau le 31 mars 1814 and a number of mementos belonging to Joséphine, all contributing to the success of the exhibition. Very much in the style of that which took place at the Musée Jacquemart-André, the exhibition took the visitor on a journey from the pomp and splendour of the Imperial Court to the moving simplicity of life in exile on St. Helena.
Place: Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey
Date: 14 February - 14 June 2006
Curated by: Bernard Chevallier, Karine Huguenaud
Scenography: Marta Pineyro, Armando Posada


Wesel - Minden (Germany) - Prussen Museum, 2006
Organised on the initiative of the Preußen-Museum Nordrhein-Westfalen (Nordrhein-Westfalen), the masterpieces of the Fondation's collection were displayed alongside several exceptional items from the collections of the Musée de l'Armée and the Musée national de Malmaison, as well as numerous loans from German and Russian museums. This exhibition of more than 500 items shone light on the personality of Napoleon, statesman and soldier, and on the organisation and history of the Grand Duchy of Berg and the Kingdom of Westphalia. Description of provincial life on the Rhine under the Empire was also accorded an important place in the exhibition.
Place: Preußen-Museum Nordrhein-Westfalen, Wesel - Minden
Date: 14 February - 14 June 2006
Curated by: Bernard Chevallier, Karine Huguenaud, Veit Veltzke

 27/09/2004: TRESORS DE LA FONDATION NAPOLEON - Dans l'intimité de la Cour impériale

Paris (France), musée Jacquemart-André, 2004

To celebrate the bicentenary of Napoleon's coronation, the Musée Jacquemart-André displayed for more than seven months a selection of 200 works from a collection quite appropriately christened The Treasures of the Fondation Napoléon. In this sumptuous 19th century building, home to the masterpieces collected by Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart, the Fondation's treasures were exhibited in surroundings entirely in keeping with their nature, enhanced by elegant scenography which recalled the spirit of the First Empire. Comprising six distinct sections, the visitor was invited on a journey through the ages, from the splendour of the Imperial Court to the humble life of an emperor in exile. Not only did the exhibition highlighted the sumptuous lifestyle of the period and the incredible flourishing of the decorative arts, but it also presented the daily life of imperial society and demonstrated a more intimate approach to Napoleon.
Place: Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris
Date: 27 September 2004 - 3 April 2005 (extended to 24 April)
Curated by: Bernard Chevallier, Karine Huguenaud, Nicolas Sainte-Fare-Garnot
Scenography: Michel Albertini
Catalogue: the catalogue , is published by Nouveau Monde Editions (external link in French). 

 24/08/2003: NAPOLEÃO

The Fondation Napoléon's first exhibition, Napoleão was also the first major exposition in South America concerned specifically with the exceptional life of the emperor. Centred around the major items of the Fondation Napoléon's collection, the majority of which were on display for the first time, the exhibition brought together some 350 works, loaned from some of the largest museums in France and Brazil, over an area of 1800 m².
Museums that participated and contributed to the success of the exhibition, which received 200,000 visitors, included: the Musée de l'armée, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Musée Carnavalet, the Musée de la Légion d'honneur, the Louvre, the Palais Galliera, the Musée Masséna in Nice, the Châteaux de Fontainebleau, de Malmaison and Bois-Préau, de Versailles and des Trianons, the Fundaçao Biblioteca Nacional, the Musu Historico Nacional and the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes de Rio de Janeiro.
Place: Museu de Arte Brasileira - Fondaçao Armando Alvares Penteado, São Paulo
Date: 24 August - 2 November 2003
Curated by: Bernard Chevallier, Karine Huguenaud, Maria Izabel Branco Ribeiro, Thierry Lentz
Scenography: Michel Albertini


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