Napoléon Bonaparte was a controversial hero figure who characterized the history of France and present-day Europe. An undoubtedly complex character always divided among victory and defeat, attack and retreat, heroism and tragedy, conquest and feigned freedom.
The fact of having undermined the order of traditional monarchies placed him as a liberator but, in the end, he fought to expand the borders of France.
Military and political power created a cursed charm in him which ended in the Battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815).
The Congress of Vienna (1/11/1814 – 9/6/1815), while continuing its work although Napoleon had returned from exile and resumed power in March, re-established and restored the previous order between legitimacy and equilibrium, ending nine days before the final battle.
Undoubtedly he was a patriotic figure who marked the birth of new dictatorial forms of conquest which history witnessed over the next 125 years.
For the bicentenary of his death on 5/5/1821 island of Saint Helena (South Atlantic Ocean), the exhibition “Napoléon”, at the Grande Halle de la Villette Paris from 14/4 to 19/9/2021, retraces with more than 150 historical objects and documents, for the first time, the man born in Ajaccio (15/8/1769): Napoléon I Bonaparte (until 1796 Buonaparte) Emperor of the French.
This exhibition is built around the following themes:
the formative years at the Brienne military school;
the campaigns in Italy (1796) and Egypt (1799);
the Coup of 18 Brumaire and the Consulate;
the emergence of the Empire;
Napoleon the private man, his women, Joséphine then Marie-Louise, his legitimate son, King of Rome;
Napoleon, the military leader;
Napoleon and Europe, at the head of which he placed his brothers and sisters;
the decline of the Empire, illustrated by two military failures, the Spanish campaign (1808) and the Russian campaign (1812);
the Hundred Days and his final fall after the Battle of Waterloo.
Grande Halle de la Villette
14 April – 19 September 2021
Daily from 10 am to 7 pm.
by Alain Chivilò