The news of Bonaparte’s death, learned with unjustifiable delay which irritated the court, led to the implementation of a series of measures of communication and observance of the funeral and mourning managed with great difficulty by the ducal government. At the same time, her new status of widow allowed the Duchess Marie-Louise to marry (morganatically) to General Adam Neipperg, with whom she had been in a relationship since 1814 and with whom she had already had two children.
The book, based on extensive and heterogeneous archival documentation, largely unpublished, aims to retrace the various phases of those eventful weeks in the summer of 1821, during which in Parma the knight of honour Neipperg, in full agreement with Vienna, had to confront a very demanding situation, not without diplomatic complications involving the chancelleries of Vienna, Paris and London. At the same time, Bonaparte’s death opened the way to a complex management of the Emperor’s will, generating a thorny problem that lasted for years.
These and other aspects, including an in-depth study of the imperial cult in the Duchy of Parma through the complex events of the printing of the Martyrdom of St Napoleon by the Toschi studio, are explored in the volume. Further essays are devoted to Parma’s judgments of Bonaparte and the spread of iconography in the Emilian lands during the Department of the Taro.
The book (188 pages) is the 20th issue of the “Quaderni del Museo” series.
These aspects are given form in the temporary exhibition on the ground floor, where can also be found reproductions of clothes and accessories used by the Emperor on St Helena and the faithful reproduction of the campbed on which Bonaparte died.
The volume and the exhibition are included in the programmes of the Comitato per il bicentenario napoleonico 1821-2021 (Italian Committee for the Napoleonic Bicentenary 1821-2021) and of the most important European Napoleonic associations (FECN-European Federation of Napoleonic Cities-Destination Napoléon and the Souvenir Napoléonien).