Alexander, Napoleon & Joséphine: A Story of Friendship, War and Art

Photo by Moniek Bloks

Last week I was invited to view the new Alexander, Napoleon & Josephine: A Story of Love, War and Art exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam. The exhibition holds many art objects collected by Empress Joséphine after her divorce from Napoleon and also treasures such as Napoleon’s death mask, a briefcase used by Alexander I and a cabinet used by Hortense de Beauharnais.


Empress Joséphine, Francois Gérard 1801


Joyous reception at Chateau Malmaison in 1802, Francois Flameng


Miniature portrait of Empress Joséphine, Simon Jacques Rochard 1814


Guéridon Table


The exhibition is divided into four ‘scenes’ and the biggest one is most definitely the war section. The moving swords were very impressive. I loved that the first thing you see when you enter is a huge portrait of Joséphine.


After the blood red War room came a minty green area with paintings and such of other royals, such as this portrait of Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna (born Louise of Baden)


And this bust of Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna (born Louise of Baden).



And this painting of Empress Marie Feodorovna (born Sophia Dorothea of Württemberg)



Triumphal Wreath

The exhibition leads us through Joséphine’s amazing art collection and even includes a painting with Napoleon holding his son by Marie-Louise of Orleans. He had divorced Joséphine in order to father an heir to the French empire as it appeared Joséphine would have no more children.



Gonzaga Camee


Portrait of Empress Joséphine, 1812


Valentina of Visconti, mourning the death of her husband, Louis, Duke of Orléans 1802


Napoleon holds his son, with Marie Louise behind them


Napoleon’s death mask 


Hortense de Beauharnais’ cabinet


Coronation robes belonging to Eugène de Beauharnais


The exhibition ends on an interesting note. It shows us that Joséphine is an ancestor to five reigning houses of Europe, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Overall, I rather enjoyed the exhibition and I would highly recommend it.

This exhibition will run from 28 March 2015 to 8 November 2015. Entry for adults is €15,-. Find more information here.

About Moniek Bloks 2741 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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