Sunday, May 30, 2021

Napoleon Expo at La Villette, Napoleon Letter

0n Monday I was privileged to see the new Napoleon expo at La Villette. Ideally Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto should be playing in the background as you read this post. 

It should be blasting at the Napoleon expo as well in my opinion.

It is a very in depth, interactive exhibition celebrating all the events of his life, on the 200 anniversary of his death, May 5, 1821. 

I wish I’d known more about Boney before visiting, but now I can’t stop reading.

Did you know roasted chicken 🍗 was his favorite food. Rotisserie spits were turning 24/7 in the Palace. He was a fast eater. He believed one should not spend more than 10-15 minutes on a meal! Well he was Corsican.

But I digress. If you are planning on coming to Paris or even if you’re not certain, get your tickets now. You don’t want to miss out. 
The huge gift shop will fill all your needs for Xmas, anniversaries, birthdays etc. except for sending Paris Letters of course. I was swept up in the Napoleon obsession immediately. To hell with strawberry❤️ fixations.
The May Letter is my interpretation and was inspired by sending Poppy Joy the Marie-Antoinette letter. It is certainement the perfect Father’s Day gift for June 20th non?
It was crystal clear he had to dump 
Josephine. All those years feeling sympathy for her, but the man needed issue, offspring, crying babies, heirs. His dynasty needed to continue.  And no way was Josephine going to do it. He was practical above all. Well in some things anyway.
Bonnie tells me he did not cross the Alps on a bucking stallion as Jacques-Louis David gloriously painted him. It actually was on a donkey. The path was twisty-turny. By the way don’t miss David’s story on Wikipedia. His life was just as convoluted and fascinating as Napoleon’s. He had friends in high places, many despicable like Robespierre and Murat. He would surely have been guillotined too , save for a convenient tummy ache.
There are many, many Napoleonic battle videos on youtube if you’re inclined (in English). Or French videos, more romantic videos. The battles are for techie nerds in my opinion. Lots of graphs and numbers..little drama or romance❤️
There was much discussion whether the Paris letter border should be Bees? The Napoleonic bee 🐝symbol got the most votes. Or the Roman Laurel leaf? Among Napoleon’s many delusions, he saw himself as Emperor of Rome, crowning himself with a golden laurel wreath and adapting neoclassical details to his regime.
Even if you’re father/husband does not have a ‘Napoleonic Complex’ he should love❤️ the new Paris letter. If you write PBER in the ‘notes to seller’ at checkout a mini Legion d’honneur watercolor will be added for as long as they last (50+).  Bon Dimanche PBers💋🐻🐝🐝🐝🐝


  1. Louise5:22 AM

    The exhibit certainement look glorious as does your Paris letter!
    Can’t wait to order it !!

  2. Wonderful exhibit, Carol. A definite must-see. How lucky you were that there were so few other visitors. Napoleon was such a fascinating character...he restored order after the Terror...he stood up to all of the European monarchies that wanted to destroy him...and he left a lasting legacy in the Napoleonic code, still the basis of French law today.

    Terrific watercolor of some of Napoleon’s most relevant moments. It is interesting to note that Napoleon was 5’6”-5’7”...average height for a man of his time...hardly the shortie his enemies portrayed. Love the bees...and the roasted chickens!!

  3. Words escape me. I love all your work but this is exceptional!!! I have been following it’s progress on Instagram and it is so exciting to see the end result. Kudos Carol👏 Can’t wait to receive it.

  4. Thank you, Thank you!
    So much more to learn a out Bonny..just a toe in the water so far.
    You are a great source Bonny!

    And yr lucky blossom bracelet helped me muchly GA :))
    Is it water-proof?

  5. Sybille8:39 AM

    Love your finished letter! Another gorgeous letter! And, your post is grand...all those pics of the exhibit!

  6. Josephine8:40 AM

    I remember seeing a Napoleon exhibit at Invalides years ago...still remember his camp tent and a plaster death mask. He had such rapport with his Generals and enabled him to do great things...they could march twice the distance that the Prussiens and Russians could march in a day.

  7. The add-on is so nice!I have an old book here Napoleons letters to Josephine's or vice versa...

  8. I think I was that exhibit and reported on it here but I cant find it. I can see the British satirical cartoons right before my eyes...

  9. jane brown8:56 AM

    I read your blog every day and love it and am quite envious of the beautiful city you call home. My son and daughter-in-law are exhibiting in a show in Paris and we would love to be there but can't because of the current travel restrictions. Since you are so lucky to live in Paris, check out this free art exhibit of augmented reality works of art during the month of June. All the works can be seen using your smart phone at various locations in Paris - check out

  10. Mme Maison9:17 AM

    Fantastique, mervellieux!!!! Brava!!!

  11. We bought a whole chicken to roast for honor of N...and to warm up our frigid house-without-heat.

  12. I would so LOVE to see that exhibit and shop in the bookstore as he is a favorite of mine. I'll just have to be satisfied with what I can see through your eyes and videos. Thanks, Carol.

  13. P.S. This is a much less fattening fixation than the strawberries and cream.

  14. Excellent point, well made SUKI !!!
    Napoleon appears to be disinterested in food!? Even shocking info.

  15. Heather7:05 PM

    I'm quite sure you must know this but, in case you don't, the restaurant Le Procope (13 rue de l'Ancienne Comedie) has one of Napoleon's hats. The story is that he didn't have enough money to pay for his meal and left his hat. There are lots of interesting artifacts in the restaurant.
    Paris is our favourite city and I really enjoy your Paris Breakfast letters - especially during the covid lockdown here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  16. Yes I did know and i have photographed it in the past.
    It will be on the NAPOLEON PARIS MAP coming up next :))

  17. Annemarie12:48 AM

    LOVE your Paris letters!!!! Beautiful!

  18. Merveilleuse Carol!

  19. Your finished pieces are always!
    But something about those ink(?) sketches that you do...oh my!!!
    I enjoy everything you touch...with eye or hand...
    Thank God we have you in Paris...

  20. Do you remember the sound and light shows at Invalides back in the 80's?- they were spectacular recreations of Napoleon's campaigns.
    Thanks as always for your posts.

  21. And you know what else about him? He had a colostomy. I think they used a sheep's bladder or some such. Maybe that's why he's holding his abdomen?

  22. Maureen6:15 AM

    I was Napoleon obsessed from a young age. Looking forward to receiving it & I will immediately acquire TWO frames ; one for the Emperor & one for the darling one you did Of my late dog, Kuma outside Laduree ....TEN years ago!!

  23. I still have all my Napoleon books starting at about age about 15. I cannot bring myself to donate or cull them.
    Thanks for a great post!

  24. Oh how I wish I could just fly over now to see this! FedEx sponsored a marvellous exhibition in Memphis, Tennessee years ago and I drove there and back just to see it.

  25. I am so envious I cannot express it! I have a little miniature of that silvery statue of him, shown above. I purchased it, along with a beautiful color print of the coronation of Josephine, at Les Invalides. I can still recall standing in the Rotunda looking down at that magnificent tomb.


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