Joséphine and the Arts of the Empire

Edited by Eleanor P. DeLorme


216 pages

PDF file size: 258.6 MB


This richly illustrated book reveals how Joséphine, Napoléon Bonaparte’s empress, shaped the arts of early nineteenth-century France and beyond. Her incomparable sense of style, her passion for collecting, her love of gardens, and her commissions of works by major artists such as Antonio Canova, Jacques-Louis David, Pierre-Paul Prod’hon, and Pierre-Joseph Redouté set the standard for a new aesthetic. On these pages the opulence of Salon culture is set against the tumultuous era of Revolution and Empire, romance and tragedy—a world in which Joséphine rose to her own momentous role in history with singular grace and elegance.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction, Eleanor P. DeLorme
  • Chapter 1 The Courtly, Heroic, and Romantic: Joséphine’s Patronage of Painting, Eleanor P. DeLorme
  • Chapter 2 A Taste for the Antique: Joséphine’s Preferences in Sculpture, Eleanor P. DeLorme
  • Chapter 3 Innovative Interiors: The Settings for Joséphine’s Life, Eleanor P. DeLorme
  • Chapter 4 Her Magical World: Joséphine’s Gardens and Conservatory, Eleanor P. DeLorme
  • Chapter 5 Redouté: Joséphine’s Watercolor Garden, Peter Mitchell
  • Chapter 6 From Mahogany to Gilt: Joséphine’s Choices in Furniture, John D. Ward
  • Chapter 7 The “Joséphine Taste”: Porcelain for Her Table, Bernard Chevallier
  • Chapter 8 On Her Majesty’s Order: Joséphine and Sèvres, Tamara Préaud
  • Chapter 9 Empire Silver: A Gilded Age, Christopher Hartop
  • Chapter 10 The Empress of Fashion: What Joséphine Wore Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell
  • Chapter 11 Love and Glory: Joséphine’s Jewelry, Diana Scarisbrick
  • Chapter 12 The Music Joséphine Heard: From the “Plaisirs d’amour” to “Le Chant du départ,” David Gilbert
  • Index
  • About the Authors

About the Authors

Eleanor P. DeLorme is senior lecturer in art history at Wellesley College.