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Olga's Gallery


The Beauharnais


Joséphine de Beauharnais, née Marie Joséphine Rose Tascher de la Pagerie (1763-1814) wife of Napoleon and French Empress, born in Martinique. In 1779, she married the Vicomte Alexandre de Beauharnais. They had two children: son Eugène Rose de Beauharnais (1781-1824) and daughter Hortense Eugènie Cécile de Beauharnais (1783-1837). In 1796, two years after her husband's execution, she married Napoleon. At Malmaison, and afterwards at the Luxembourg and the Tuileries, she attracted to her Salon the most brilliant society of France, and contributed considerably to the establishment of her husband's power.
The marriage, being childless, was dissolved in 1809. Joséphine retained the title of empress, and continued to live at Malmaison, where she died of pneumonia while Napoleon was in exile to Elba.
See: Jacques-Louis David. Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2 December 1804.
François-Pascal-Simon Gérard. Portrait of Joséphine, Wife of Napoleon, at Malmaison.
Robert Lefèvre. Portrait of Empress Joséphine.
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon. Portrait of  Empress Joséphine.

Beauharnais, Alexandre, Vicomte de (1760-94) French soldier, son of a governor of Martinique, served in Louis XVI’s army in the American War of Independence. He accepted revolutionary ideas and was president of the Constituent Assembly in Paris in June 1791. He was given command of the army of the Rhine in 1793 but was arrested as an aristocratic ‘suspect’ and guillotined.
In 1779, he married Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, afterwards wife of Napoleon, and had two children by her: son Eugène Rose de Beauharnais (1781-1824) and daughter Hortense Eugènie Cécile de Beauharnais (1783-1837).
See: Unknown French painter of David’s circle. Portrait of Alexandre de Beauharnais.

Beauharnais, Eugène Rose de (1781-1824) French soldier, son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine. After his mother's marriage to Napoleon, he served with Napoleon in Italy and Egypt, and rapidly rose to the highest military rank. In 1805, he was made a Prince of France, and in 1805 Viceroy of Italy. In 1806, he married Princess Amalie Augusta of Bavaria, and was formally adopted by Napoleon and made heir apparent to the throne of Italy. He showed great military skill in the campaigns in Italy, Austria and Russia. After Napoleon's abdication in 1814 he retired to Bavaria, and was created Duke of Leuchtenberg.

Beauharnais, Hortense Eugènie Cécile (1783-1837), Queen of Holland, born in Paris, the daughter of Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais and Joséphine. As a child she was a great favorite of her stepfather, Napoleon, and in 1802 married his brother Louis (1778-1846) King of Holland (1806-10). They had 3 sons, the youngest of which, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, became Napoleon III. In 1810-11, Hortense was the mistress of Count Charles de Flahaut, their son became Duc de Morny. In May 1814, Hortense was created Duchesse de St. Leu by Louis XVIII at Tsar Alexander I’s request. She was a gifted artist and a composer, whose marching song, ‘Partant pour la Syrie’, became the national anthem of France's Second Empire.

Bibliography:
Chambers Biographical Dictionary. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd. 1996.
World Biographical Dictionary. by V. Borodulin et al. Moscow 1998.
Die Herzen der Leuchtenberg : Geschichte einer bayerisch-napoleonischen Familie by Adalbert.  Nymphenburger.
The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland. Scribner, 1999.
Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe by Sandra Gulland. Scribner, 1999.
The Last Great Dance on Earth by Sandra Gulland. Scribner, 2000.
The Defense of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Northern Italy, 1813-1814 by George F. Nafziger, Marco Gioannini. Praeger Pub, 2001.
 

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