Bowes Museum: Pauline Bonaparte


The above marble bust dates to circa 1810 and depicts Pauline Bonaparte, sister of Napoleon. Attributed to P.Jurany, Pauline is depicted with her hair braided in the classical style that was typical of the early nineteenth century. The Regency style in England and the First Empire style in France exchanged many design ideas based around classical and ancient Egyptian decoration.

Bowes Museum: Ship in Stormy Sea


The above oil on panel is the work of the 19th century French maritime painter Jean-Baptiste Henri Durand-Brager. Dating to between 1838-1867, the scene depicts the struggle of a ship braving a stormy sea. It is highly likely that Durand-Brager would have witnessed such a scene having travelled to the Atlantic coast of Africa as part of the expedition to return Napoleon’s remains from the island of St Helena in 1840.


Bowes Museum: Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult

Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult

Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult was one of fourteen men awarded the title of Marshal of the Empire. Napoleon had introduced the title in 1804 to honour those who had supported him in his rise to power. The above oil on canvas portrait is the work of the French painter Joseph-Désiré Court and dates to between 1819-1835. Soult is depicted in the painting holding the Marshal’s baton which is covered in blue velvet and ornamented with gold eagles.

Bowes Museum: Louis Fontanes


The above marble bust dates to 1798 and is the work of the 18th century French sculptor Pierre Julien. Louis, Marquis de Fontanes, was appointed grand master of the university of Paris by Napoleon. In 1795, he was appointed professor of literature at École Centrale des Quatre-Nations and was one of the first members of Institut National.