“J’ARRIVE” The Exhibition.
Napoleone di Buonaparte, born in Corsica, August 15th of 1769, is one of the most controversial and celebrated political figures in Western history, and one of the greatest military commanders and strategist of all time.
At the age of 26 he was given command of the “Army of Italy” and to this day his military strategy and know-how are studied by military academies around the world.
Napoleon´s (as he came to be known) impact in Europe and the Western world did not limit itself to be about just his military conquests and prowess but also his civil footprint, as he brought long term impact liberal reforms to the countries he conquered. His long-lasting legal achievements were, undoubtedly, highlighted by the so-called “Napoleonic Code” - adopted in various forms by a quarter of the world’s legal system spanning from Asia to America.
After his escape from the Island of Elba in 1815 and taking over the government, the “Seventh Coalition” Allies defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo. After his capture by the British Army he was imprisoned on the remote Island of Saint Helena, passing away at the age of 51 in 1821.
In 1840, more than a million people witnessed the return of his remains to Paris where it still resides at Les Invalides.
This exhibition will show the trajectory of Napoleon spanning from his years as a military student to the coronation as Emperor and to his final days. The audience will be immersed throughout a series of galleries replicating the late 18th century scenario sided with original artefacts and paintings – resulting in a truly sensorial way of bringing his story to life.
The J´Arrive Exhibition was made possible through the careful and dedicated curatorial support and incredible collection of objects from the Fondation de Napoleon, the academic credibility sustaining the texts and an array of the most relevant objects strengthening the story we present - making this exhibition a unique opportunity to get to know Napoleon and his place in world history.
The exhibition has been designed referring to Napoleon's tomb at Les Invalides in Paris.
The exhibition is divided into areas where Napoleon is represented in all periods of his rise to power. These Areas will be 7 remembering Napoleon as:
In the middle of each area will be represented in scale 1: 1 of the Napoleon era.
Apart from these areas there will be a room where visitors can perceive the emotional sense of fear, as they were in the middle of a battlefield. You will hear the drums of the cavalry, rifles, cannons and the advance of the cavalry, accompanied by videos and exciting effects.
The final area will correspond to the explanation of the tomb at Les Invalides, shrouded by the mystery of death at St. Helena.
The exhibition will have a honeycomb structure such as Napoleon thought his empire was to be a symbol of unity.
The bee was dear to Napoleon because it is assumed that he had chosen as a symbol to create a form of link with the Merovingian dynasty. In fact, just in the tomb of King Childeric was found bee gold. But even in the civilization of ancient Egypt the bee had a prominent place in the symbolism of power, including that of obedience and loyalty.
The flag of Elba Napoleon was a great success so that, as he writes Pons de l'Herault in "Souvenirs et anecdotes de l'Ile d'Elbe", was hailed even by Barbary pirates, that passage in the Tyrrhenian Sea in it saw the symbol their warrior hero, Napoleon himself.