INAUGURAL EXHIBITION FOR THE REOPENING OF THE CHÂTEAU DE BOIS-PRÉAU October 2022.
Eugène was born in 1781 from the marriage of Marie-Josèphe-Rose Tascher de La Pagerie to Viscount Alexandre de Beauharnais. He was able to gain the affection of his father-in-law, General Bonaparte, who became First Consul and then Emperor. His life was first of all at the service of Napoleon Bonaparte’s career, whether it was his military engagements, always marked by great courage and a real sense of strategy, in the service of the Emperor, who adopted him, in the service of imperial power as Viceroy of Italy, in the service of his family by marrying Princess Auguste-Amélie of Bavaria, representative of one of the most ancient European lines, which brought him into the circle of sovereign and princely families. The marriage was a happy one; their love gave birth to many children; their family life was based on the sincere affection that united its members.
When the Empire fell, Prince Eugene and his wife retired to Bavaria. They were appointed Duke and Duchess of Leuchtenberg by King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and entered a new phase of their lives. Against all odds, they managed to re-establish themselves through diplomacy and prudence, the only members of the imperial family to do so. Until now, Eugene has only been represented for some aspects of his life.
For the first time, this exhibition offers a convergence of the various settings in which he lived in Paris, Milan and Munich, by developing connections and comparisons. In addition to his biography, which is supported by works of art and representations of such famous artists as Antoine-Jean Gros, François Gérard, Jean-Baptiste Isabey, Andrea Appiani, Giovanni Battista Comolli, Gaetano Manfredini, and Karl Joseph Stieler, the exhibition focuses on the decor and furnishings of his residences, his passion for the arts, his taste for science, and his sense of management. Loans from prestigious public and private collections throughout Europe, such as those of H.M. the King of Sweden, the Duke of Bavaria, the museums of the Louvre and Versailles, the Château d’Arenenberg or the Hôtel de Beauharnais, the residence of H.E. the German Ambassador to France, retrace through more than 150 works a life of honour and integrity, in the service of the people whom destiny entrusted to him and of the functions it assigned to him. All these works recall his posthumous reputation as the ancestor of most of the princely and ruling families of Northern Europe.
Presented mainly at the Château de Bois-Préau, which is reopening to the public after more than 25 years of closure and a year of renovation work, the exhibition is also extended to the Château de Malmaison, where the visitor can discover the sections on the natural sciences and music, the key works relating to Eugène in the permanent collections as well as Eugène’s own bedroom at Malmaison. The exhibition is also in partnership with the Palazzo Reale in Milan.
Read more in English about Eugène and Hortense de Beauharnais at the Château de Malmaison
Elisabeth Caude, general curator of heritage and specialist in the Napoleonic period, director of the Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et de
Bois-Préau, of the Ile d’Aix and of the Maison Bonaparte in Ajaccio
Rémi Cariel, Vincent Hadot, Christophe Pincemaille and Isabelle Tamisier-Vetois, academic team of the Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau,
Jorg Ebeling, German Centre for Art History
Exhibition organised by the Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais and the Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau
Opening hours :
Château de Bois-Préau:
every day except Tuesday: 1pm-5.30pm
Château de Malmaison:
Every day except Tuesday.
weekdays: 10am-12.30pm / 1.30pm-5.15pm
weekends: 10am-12.30pm / 1.30pm-5.45pm
Permanent collections Malmaison:
Price: Full 6,5€ / Reduced 5€ / Group 5,5€.
Temporary exhibition Bois-Préau:
Price: Full 8€ / Reduced 6€ / Group 6,5
Combined ticket Malmaison-Bois-Préau:
Price: Full 11€ / Reduced 8€ / Group 8,5