11/14/2013

Empress Joséphine (marble bust)

Victoria and Albert museum - Empress Josephine
Empress Joséphine in an Empire dress
ⓒRebecca Bugge
Marble bust of the French empress Joséphine (Joséphine de Beauharnais - June 23rd 1763 – May 29th 1814; married to Napoleon Bonaparte 1796-1810) dating to c:a 1808. The portrait was done by the sculptor Joseph Chinard and shows the empress with a diadem and a typical regency dress - or more precisely an Empire dress. The 'Empire' has taken its name from the First French Empire and Joséphine was quite an advocate for this fashion style.

The dress has very low neckline, with a border of a classical pattern of anthemion (perhaps better known as honeysuckle) - a very popular Neoclassical motif. Her diadem is quite heavy and echoes the flower theme.

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