2021 Année Napoléon > Chaumet

In 2021, the Maison Chaumet is celebrating the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon I with an exceptional exhibition.

Updated 17 June 2021

For further information, please visit the Maison Chaumet website.

Exhibition > Josephine & Napoleon, an (extra)ordinary story
19 May – 18 July 2021

Coproduction with the Fondation Napoléon

This exhibition curated by Pierre Branda (historian and Head of Heritage at the the Fondation Napoléon, and author of the book Joséphine. Le Paradoxe du cygne) presents the famed love story of Napoleon and Josephine through a presentation of more than 150 artworks, more than half of which have never been shown to the public before, in the sumptuous historical salons of the Maison Chaumet at 12 Place Vendôme, recently restored.

Among the exhibits are 30 exceptional pieces of jewellery either belonging to Josephine or to the Imperial family. Marie-Étienne Nitot, founder of the Jewellery House (which became known as Chaumet in 1907), was a major player in the construction of the imperial image through his creations: In 1804, he set the precious stones in the sword known as the “Epée du Sacre” (coronation sword) and was official jeweller to Josephine from 1805. He contributed to the public image of the couple but he was also an intimate witness to this love story.

The paradoxical title of this exhibition suggests there was also a more “ordinary”, that is to say more “human” aspect underpinning the public relationship, playing out in the wings of the Imperial stage. Thus, alongside the carefully choreographed official splendour, this exhibition also aims to tell a little of the private side of the couple, through intimate letters and objects. A voyage under the themes of power, symbolism, transmission, emotions… An (extra)ordinary story which transcended its own epoch and the Empire, becoming legendary and immortal.

This exhibition has been made possible thanks to the support of many international museums and private lenders.

A bilingual (EN/FR) exhibition booklet, written by Pierre Branda, Head of the Heritage Department of the Fondation Napoléon, will be distributed free of charge during the visits.

The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sunday, free entrance, subject to reservation.


The reservations for this event are now closed.

Maison Chaumet
12 place Vendôme
75001 Paris


► Read the Maison Chaumet’s press release on this exhibition (please note that the dates mentioned have since been modified)

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PrEsentation of THE Maison Chaumet

Chaumet, the Parisian jewellers founded in 1780 became very quickly official supplier to Napoleon and Josephine. Ever since then, the history of this jewellery house has been linked to the history of France. In the bicentenary year, Chaumet is celebrating its founding and re-telling the celebrated love story of this world-famous couple via an exhibition at Chaumet’s town mansion at 12 Place Vendôme.
Visit Maison Chaumet’s website

Discover the key dates of the Maison Chaumet and its links to the Napoleonic Epic.