Napoleon conquers Paris !

2021 marks the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon in exile on the island of Saint Helena. We take a closer look at just some of the events being held to explore his life and times over the coming months – but remember, dates may change at the last moment. Company! Forward, march !

Love him or hate him, it’s impossible to ignore him or his role in French history. This year, a host of anniversary events are helping to shed light on Napoleon. Since many of them are being held in Paris, it’s also a great excuse to walk around the capital and explore the buildings modified, built, or begun during his time in power, including the Madeleine, the palais Brongniart, and the Arc de Triomphe. But what better place to start than his tomb, under the dome of the Hôtel des Invalides, where the Musée de l’Armée, which is housed in the same set of buildings,  is organizing two exhibitions: “Napoleon is no more”, which explores the death of Napoleon, his funeral, and the return of his ashes to France (until September 19), and “Napoleon? Encore!”, featuring works by fifteen contemporary artists, including Ange Leccia and Julian Schnabel, who have been given carte blanche to display their creations in and around the museum (from May 7 to January 30). The theme of this summer’s monumental La Nuit aux Invalides show is Napoleon, the Flight of the Eagle (July 7 to August 26). Organized by the Réunion des musées nationaux and La Villette, the major “Napoleon” spring/summer exhibition at the Grande Halle de La Villette, explores his life through works of art and objects, court clothes, and more. The chateaux around Paris are also playing host to a battalion of events. Malmaison invites you to discover “Napoléon aux 1,001 visages”, an exhibition that asks what Napoleon really looked like by examining how he was depicted during his lifetime and after his death (from May 5 to September 6). In Fontainebleau, from May 2, the “Napoleon’s Fontainebleau” tour reveals the changes made by the emperor to the château and its gardens. The Napoleon I Museum has been renovated and items have been added to its displays, and the Emperor’s library has been restored (from May 7). All of these events, with more to come in the fall, just go to show that, two centuries after his death, Citizen Bonaparte, who became His Imperial Majesty Napoleon, Emperor of the French, is still very much part of our lives

Portrait napoléon paris
By Michel Doussot - Published the

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