- Country of Origin: France
- Maker: Jean-Baptiste-Claud Odiot
- Price Range: £50000+
- Date: c1805
- Size: 15 1/2 inches tall 15 1/2 inches wide 11 1/2 inches front to back. 241 oz (7504g) total weight.
By Jean-Baptiste-Claud Odiot, this piece dates from the early part of the 19th century circa 1798-1809 and is an outstanding example of the work produced in the French Empire period.
15 1/2 inches tall
15 1/2 inches wide
11 1/2 inches front to back.
241 oz (7504g) total weight.
The Arms are for the family of Borghese,
Camillo Borghese was born in Rome, the son of the pro-Napoleon Marcantonio IV Borghese and brother of Francesco (1776–1839), Prince Aldobrandini, and entered France’s service in 1796. He became the second husband of Napoleon’s sister Pauline Bonaparte in 1803 (after the death of her first husband Charles Leclerc). He was made a prince of France in 1804; a troop-commander in the Imperial Guard in 1805 and soon afterwards oberst (and late division general) and duke of Guastalla; and in 1809 commander of 27th and 28th Division of the French Army.
Initially passionate (he commissioned a nude portrait of her from Canova), the marriage later foundered due to her taking a series of lovers and showing eccentricities such as being carried to her baths by her huge African slaves and using her ladies-in-waiting for footstools. They led separate lives but did not divorce, and Pauline convinced her brother to give Camillo the governorship of Piedmont in 1808 (with the words “Camillo is an imbecile, no one knows that better than I do. But what does that matter, when we’re talking about governing a territory?”) and guardianship of Napoleon’s prisoner Pope Pius VII.
Napoleon also forced him to sell 344 pieces from the family art collection to the French state, which Camillo made up with new pieces from excavations on his estates. Camillo also took an interest in the family villa at Porta Pinciana, rearranging the display of the collection within it and giving it a new new monumental entrance at Piazza del Popolo.
After Napoleon’s fall, Camillo’s alliance with him proved awkward and he moved to Florence to distance himself from it and her, managing to avoid any of his lands being sequestered by the popes (a usual punishment for pro-Bonaparte tendencies). After 10 years there with a long-term mistress, he was reluctantly convinced by the pope into receiving Pauline back, only 3 months before she died of cancer. He then continued in secret and futile Bonapartist plots until his own death, which occurred at Florence in 1832. He was succeeded by his brother Francesco.
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