Skip to comments.Napoleon and America (Review of museum exhibition)
Posted on 06/12/2009 4:40:50 PM PDT by mojito
Born on the French island colony of Corsica, Napoleon Bonaparte admired the American Revolution and wrote of George Washington: "His cause is that of humanity." But he modeled his reign after the Roman emperors', appropriating their imagery, pursuing European domination, and sponsoring great public works projects, a new legal code and a classical renaissance in the arts.
Drawn from the extraordinary collection of Pierre-Jean Chalençon, the exhibition "Napoléon" is rich in objects denoting Napoleon's imperial ambitions and stature: the gilded bronze sword used, in 1804, to proclaim him emperor; a red velvet coronation foot cushion embroidered with bees, his favorite emblem; a portrait by Baron François Gérard showing Napoleon wearing a laurel crown and a heavy necklace emblazoned with eagles.
These items -- and dozens of other artifacts of great rarity and interest -- are on view through Sept. 7 at the National Constitution Center, the sixth stop on a national tour that will end in Anaheim, Calif., and St. Louis, Mo.
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia's exhibit features many of Napoleon's personal belongings collected from his childhood through his rise to emperor. For all his achievements and popularity within France, Napoleon (1769-1821) was neither a democrat nor a constitutionalist. So this celebration of his life and career -- the show inclines toward hagiography -- seems at first jarring in a museum dedicated to one of this country's founding documents.
But text panels under the rubric "American Connections," developed to deal with this conundrum, go a considerable distance toward bridging the gap between Napoleon's world and our own.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Napoleon must have been well respected in the USA at one time. There are several towns named Napoleon across America. I live a few miles from Napoleon Michigan.
The Illustrious Dead:
The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon’s Greatest Army
Amazon.com | Unknown | Unknown
Posted on 05/31/2009 1:03:31 PM PDT by decimon
Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
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I saw one of four known Napoleon Death Masks in New Orleans in 1975.
Should have pinged you.
He sold it only because the massive army he had targetted at Louisiana was just about destroyed in their supposedly preparatory reconquest of Haiti. You can make a decent case that the Haitian revolutionaries and mosquitoes kept America from a war with France.
Why this brilliant strategist was getting involved in adventures on the other side of an ocean utterly controlled by the Royal Navy is entirely another questoin.
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