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Residence, Chateau de Malmaison (1610)*

Artist/Designer: Charles Percier

Project Location: France

Figure 1 ( Photographer: Lorella Brocklesby )
Figure 2 ( Photographer: Lorella Brocklesby )
Figure 3 ( Photographer: Lorella Brocklesby )
Figure 4 ( Photographer: Lorella Brocklesby )
Figure 5 ( Photographer: Lorella Brocklesby )


Primary Material(s):

Residential Structure

Related Website(s):

Significant Date(s):
17th Century, 1610

Additional Information:
Project Description:
Malmaison, the residence of Napoleon and Josephine, near Paris. This most important residence was the home of Napoleon and Josephine. After Napoleon divorced her, Josephine continued to live at Malmaison. This sumptuous home reflects the Empire taste of the Emperor Napoleon and his wife including heavy furniture (some with swan motifs); intriguing color schemes; ceiling in some rooms that are decorated with floral motifs (because Josephine was a great patron of botanists.) Perhaps the most famous room is the State Bedroom, with its pink drapes (reproduced) which reflect the taste for tent rooms. The swan, an avian motif much used in antiquity, is prominent on the bed. There is also a wash stand, based on Greek motifs, that was designed by Charles Percier, the famous architect/designer. Eventually Percier lost his project at Malmaison because of the cost of the decorations. Greek motifs are everywhere including key patterns, and lyre (harp) motifs. Typically, there are contemporary watercolor renderings of the interiors which have enabled the restoration work (where necessary) to be as authentic as possible. This is, however, an authentic house and, as such, is an Empire time warp.

Publication/Texts in Print:
Chevallier. Vues du chateau et du parc de malmaison anglais. Perrin, 2003.

Hubert, Gerard. "Girardon's "Melancholy": A Note on Its Placement in the Park at Malmaison during the Nineteenth Century." Metropolitan Museum Journal 15 (1980): 149-52.

Nicolay-Mazery, Christiane De. The French Chateau: Life, Style, Tradition. London: Thames & Hudson, 2001.

Building Address:
Avenue du Château de la Malmaison, 92500 Rueil-Malmaison, France

Significant Dates:
1610- Estimate year of construction.
1686- Renovated and expanded.
1780- Expanded upon again with two new wings on the courtyard.
1799- Joséphine de Beauharnais bought the manor house for herself and her husband, General Napoléon Bonaparte.
1800-1802- headquarters of the French government.
1905- Museum opened.

France, Manor house, Napoleon Bonaparte, Josephine de Beauharnais, 17th century, villa, neoclassical, 18th century interior, Charles Percier, chateau

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