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"An Imperial Childhood" the 200th anniversary of the King of Rome
"An Imperial Childhood" the 200th anniversary of the King of Rome

The exhibition is about the early years in France of Napoleon François Joseph Charles Bonaparte (20 March 1811 - 22 July 1832). He was the only son and heir of Napoleon I. At his birth, the young prince was given the title of "the King of Rome", and spent the first years of his life at the French Court before leaving for Austria following Napoleon's abdication with the Treaty of Fontainebleau (4 and 6 April 1814). There he was given the title of "Duke of Reichstadt" by his grandfather after the Congress of Vienna. Edmond Rostand's "The Eaglet" may have popularised the sad destiny of this Austrian prince but the exhibition chooses to study the early years and the beginning of the education of a child born to rule.
These jewels were created by the Christians of Ethiopia: a huge variety of ornamentation and styles of crosses perpetuate the innovative creations of the classic period. Originally, the silver jewellery was made using the lost wax method. Often, the cross is decorated with an interwoven pattern symbolizing eternity. Sometimes it is placed in the centre of a circle symbolizing the universe over which the cross should have dominion. There can also be a number of secondary crosses around the main cross designed to increase its power.

Isabey Jean-Baptiste (1767-1855)
Rueil-Malmaison, châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau
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