Napolean's wife at centre of arts talk this weekend

SIGNIFICANT FIGURE: Empress Josephine of France, painting by François Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard.
SIGNIFICANT FIGURE: Empress Josephine of France, painting by François Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard. Contributed

WE HAVE all heard of the Empress Josephine of France, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, but how much do we really know about this remarkable woman?

The Empress Joséphine Bonaparte (1763-1814) is best known in this country as the first wife and consort of Napoleon, and is thus overshadowed by one of the most important figures in European Modern history.

During the French Revolution, Josephine and her first husband were imprisoned and he was guillotined.

Fortunately she was later freed.

She became a highly significant figure in her own right in the world of post-Revolutionary and Napoleonic France for her skilful behind the scenes political influence, and more importantly for her extensive patronage of the arts and fashion.

She was also internationally recognised for her interest in, and knowledge of, horticulture, which she developed at her personal residence, the Château de Malmaison near Paris.

On Saturday, September 24, the Rockhampton Branch of the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS) will be holding its annual lecture at the Coast at the B. Griffin Cultural Centre at St Ursula's College.

The talk will be followed by a very generous morning tea/lunch. Cost is $25 including refreshments.

The presenter is Martin Heard who studied History of Art at Manchester University and afterwards spent three years in the editorial department of a fine art publishing company.

His later career took a detour into the world of information technology, during which time he had the opportunity to work and live for several decades in both continental Europe and North America.

"I am now 'retired' from this field of endeavour and for the past 10 years have devoted my time to researching art historical periods and subjects that have garnered my interest over the years,” Martin said.

"Travelling, whenever I can, I focus on visiting art galleries and places of historical interest the experiences of which, I hope, have increased my knowledge and perception of the subjects in which I specialise.

"My aim is to communicate my enthusiasm for art history and share it with every type of audience.”


WHEN: Saturday, September 24, from 10.30am

WHERE: B. Griffin Cultural Centre at St Ursula's College

For more info, go to or ADFAS Rockhampton on Facebook


Topics:  art, empress josephine of france, european modern history, lecture, rockhampton branch of australian and fine arts soc, whatson

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