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The King of Rome at the Musée Fesch

Bust of the King of Rome. Ajaccio, Musée Fesch
Bust of the King of Rome. Ajaccio, Musée Fesch

The two portraits of the Napoleon’s much hoped–for son housed in the Musée Fesch in Ajaccio are united by the same poignant aura of nostalgia: both were on Saint Helena, and both were the only contact that the exiled emperor had with his own young heir. In the case of the painting, the work of an anonymous artist, the improbable setting in the gardens of Tuileries also points in this direction: the King of Rome was only four years old when the treatise of Fontainebleau made him the Prince of Parma and distanced him from France. The depiction of the boy in a place that would have been his had history taken a different course was therefore an act of respect and homage toward Napoleon.
At Napoleon’s death, the two works passed from the island of Saint Helena to Madame Mère, who then left them to her brother, Cardinal Fesch. From the cardinal’s collection they passed to the city of Ajaccio.

Also in Ajaccio one finds a sculpted representation of the young Napoléon Francis Charles Joseph Bonaparte, a bronze bust on a pink granite pedestal in the centre of the Piazza Letizia, placed there in 1986.

Portrait of the King of Rome
Bust of the King of Rome

Musée Fesch
Rue Cardinal Fesch, 50–52

The museum is open according to the following schedule
From 1 October to 30 April: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM; Thursday, Friday and the third Sunday of the month from 12 PM to 5 PM.
From 2 May to 30 September: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10.30 AM to 6 PM; Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 12 PM to 6 PM; Thursdays during the month of August, the museum remains open until 8.30 PM
Day of closure: Tuesdays.
The museum is closed on the following holidays: 25 December, 1 January, 1 November, 11 November, 18 March, Easter Sunday, 1 May.

Admission ticket: full 8.00 euros; reduced 5.00 euros; reduced for tourism operators partnered with the museum 4.00 euros.


Bust of the King of Rome
Place Letizia