After a simple baguette sandwich lunch on a bench
in the Jardin du Luxembourg
during my recent birthday trip to Paris,
I visited the Musee du Luxembourg
to see the exhibit of Josephine de Beauharnais,
mistress then wife then divorcee of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The exhibit marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Josephine
on May 29th, 1814.
The exhibit showed off not only various art pieces she'd collected
but also luscious articles of her clothing...
Below is just one panel of a gorgeous, gilded armoire from her bedroom...
several likenesses done of her
by different artists
and ornate furniture from her collection.
A jewelry box?
Imagine this mirror in your bedroom!
Josephine was a beauty who took lovers
with a pragmatic eye
aimed at serving her best (usually financial) interests.
Napoleon, who began the relationship madly in love with her,
learned of her first lover
and their relationship was never the same.
The many love letters he wrote to her
became less frequent and passionate
as he then took his own lovers.
When she could produce him no direct heirs,
and her grandson who had been named Napoleon's heir, died of croup,
Napoleon finally divorced her to marry another
but insisted that she keep her title as Empress.
And they remained friends.
Josephine was an accomplished harpist.
Below, a painting of her music room.
And one of her boudoir.
Josephine died of pneumonia at her beloved Chateau de Malmaison
which she bought and remodeled while married to Napoleon.
When he learned of her death,
Napoleon locked himself in a room for two days,
refusing entrance to anyone.
When he died,
his last sentence
ended with the word, Josephine.
For more on the exhibit, click HERE.
March 12/2014-June 29,2104
19 rue de Vaugirard
Open daily: 10-7:30pm
10am-10pm Fridays and Mondays
(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)
Info via Wikipedia