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

Delve deeper into Napoleonic history here in our section on the history of the two empires. Alongside a section for those just starting, there are many articles, images with commentary, close-ups and special dossiers for the serious Napoleonic enthusiast.

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Bust of the Roi de Rome aged six months

Date: December 1811

Technique: Sèvres mould, pedestal in blue porcelain

Dimensions : H. 39 cm

Place:Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau

Subjects: Imperial family, Roi de Rome

Credits: © RMN


Sculpture by Alexandre Brachard (1775-1843) and Jean-Jacques Oger (1759-1842) after Henri Joseph Rutxhiel (1775-1837).
With the original mould destroyed, this version is the only example remaining. The story, according to the Princess Canino, Lucien Bonaparte's widow, goes that this particular bust originally sat in the emperor's bedroom at Longwood. In 1842, the princess gave the bust to the Comte de Chaumont-Quitry.
Numerous plaster copies were made of the bust, which the Marquise de Montesquiou - who owned a marble version - considered extremely life-like. Of these is currently held in the Musée de Fontainebleau, on loan from the sculpture department of the Louvre.

Rutxthiel was commissioned by Madame de Montesquiou to produce fifty busts of the Roi de Rome.

The German sculptor Philippe Jacob Treu (1761-1825) would also complete, in 1812, a number of busts of the young child.

Claudette Joannis (tr. H.D.W.)

Original French text taken from the exhibition catalogue that accompanied "Jouets de princes".

Find out more about Napoleon's heir in our close-up on: the birth of the Roi de Rome.


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