From 19 May to 18 July 2021, the Maison presents Joséphine & Napoléon, an (extra)ordinary story in its hôtel particulier located at 12 Place Vendôme in Paris.
Dive into the story of this mythical couple, to which the Maison’s founder was a unique witness.
Visit Chaumet’s social media channels to extend the experience!
Discover the (extra)ordinary story of Joséphine and Napoléon in five chapters, from passion to eternity.
Joséphine, Napoléon, Chaumet: three extraordinary destinies closely tied together. The meteoric and exceptional rise of the Bonaparte couple marked the triumph of the Maison and the beginning of Chaumet’s legend. Its founder, Marie-Étienne Nitot, was not only a privileged witness, but above all, an actor in this saga.
On 2 December 1804, Napoléon and Joséphine were crowned Emperor and Empress in a lavish ceremony in the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. This moment was made eternal by Jacques-Louis David’s famous painting, in which Napoléon is about to crown Joséphine.
Although he had chosen to depict Napoléon crowning himself – as evidenced by the painting’s sketches, the painter finally decided to immortalise Joséphine’s crowning, who thus entered History in majesty.
Born in Martinique, Joséphine nurtured her love for exoticism and luxuriant nature from her native island. At the Château de Malmaison, which she made her haven of peace, the Empress cultivated her passion for botany. Thanks to her, the Château’s greenhouse showcases the largest collection of plant species in Paris at the time.
Despite his love for her, and under pressure from his family and ministers, Napoléon divorced Joséphine in 1809. Marie-Étienne Nitot died a few months earlier. His son, François-Regnault, took over the reins of the workshop, which surpassed itself to honour the orders of the Emperor and his new wife, Marie-Louise.
At the end of the Empire in 1815, François-Regnault Nitot handed over the Maison to his workshop head, Jean-Baptiste Fossin, who continued to make it shine. Far from stopping there, the extraordinary story that began during the Revolution is still being written today.