BUST UP AT THE BOWES
The Bowes Museum not only has some excellent Napoleonic paintings, there are also a series of interesting busts of both 'sides' in the post-Revolutionary struggle for power in France. But I make no apologies for beginning with a full frontal image of the Bowes itself:) I have included postal and location details for I would strongly recommend a personal visit to this exquisite museum. For tourists and travellers to the North of England this venue is a must. There is the added attraction of nearby Barnard castle itself and Hadrian's Wall is within comparatively easy reach.
In the bust by Chaudet, the Emperor is around 40 years of age. His hair was beginning to thin but he pepped up his physique by taking up dancing with his new bride Marie Louise of Austria and liberally doused himself in cologne to add to his unique magnetic charisma. He was now growing somewhat plump, far different from the skeletal figure that first saw fame when he kicked the British navy out of Toulon. Coignet said that Napoleon had the hands and feet of a model, they were of such perfection, even as he piled on the pounds elsewhere.
Louis Napoleon became King of Holland in 1806 and was rather too independent for his famous brother's liking, thus he abdicated in 1810. He was the fifth surviving child and fourth surviving son of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino. He died in 1846 and his son later became Napoleon III.
Pauline was the most loyal of Napoleon's brothers and sisters and was the only one who visited him when he was on Elba. She was, in South Yorkshire patois "A warm 'un" and it has been said that had he taken her to Russia in 1812 she could have worn out the whole Russian Army all by herself. Her weapons were not of the martial kind but they could be even more effective. Here above are her busts...
NOW FROM THE DARK SIDE
Louis XVIII was no matinee idol from central casting. He weighed so much that no horse could carry him. A servant once took off his socks and found part of his toes coming off with them. However, he still considered Napoleon beneath him - good job he wasn't, he would have been crushed to a pulp - regarding himself as King by divine right.
If Louis fancied himself, his younger brother d'Artois thought HE was the bee's knees. He was enraged by the fact that Napoleon became the ruler of France and did everything in his power to remove him from power. D'Artois was behind a string of assassination attempts upon Napoleon's life while he idled away his time in exile in Britain at the expense of his hosts. English gold also paid for his murderous machinations on the Continent. He finally had Napoleon murdered on Saint Helena. When he became King Charles X he proved to be a lousy ruler himself.
MORE IMAGES OF THE MAN WHO MURDERED NAPOLEON
The face that launched a thousand shits...
Well, assassins anyway. Despite the repeated attempts upon his life, Napoleon would not lower himself to respond in kind. It isn't as if Louis XVIII was a small target...
The Bowes Museum has recently been reorganized and is the best it has ever been. There are hundreds of paintings, the above busts and more, and many other fascinating aspects of English and French history. You should get to see them at least once in your life.
A SOULADREAM PRODUCTION