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Élisa Baciocchi and her daughter Élisa Napoléone in Lucca and Ajaccio

Pietro Nocchi, Portrait of Élisa and her daughter, Élisa Napoléona. Ajaccio, Musée Fesch
Pietro Nocchi, Portrait of Élisa and her daughter, Élisa Napoléona. Ajaccio, Musée Fesch

This painting depicts Élisa Baciocchi in the white silk court dress embroidered in gold that she wore on 2 December 1804 on the occasion of the crowning of Napoleon as emperor. The sovereign, who wears a costly pearl necklace and the same diadem of the Sacre is represented seated and embracing her daughter, standing on her lap, around the waist. Little Napoléone Élisa, born in Lucca on 6 June 1806, is dressed in a simple white silk tunic that has slipped off one of her shoulders. The child, leaning against her mother in a pose conveying intimacy, is portrayed letting fall a series of domino tiles that form the word Napoleon.

The Portrait of Élisa and her Daughter made by Pietro Nocchi around 1809 must have served, together with the portrait of Felice by Stefano Tofanelli, as a model for the physiognomy of the Baciocchi family and toward this end the painter Jean–Baptiste Regnault was sent to Paris, commissioned to paint the wedding of Jérôme Bonaparte. Nocchi portrayed Élisa from life, facing with the difficulty of the sovereign’s exuberance, who offered herself in pose for only a few minutes, while she was busy reading, eating, or doing other things, “without ever stopping.”. Élisa was not happy with Pietro Nocchi’s work, claiming that she was “not sufficiently favoured” in her own portrait, whereas she held the portrait of her daughter, the princess Napoléon Élisa, to be well done. The artist on the contrary claimed that the defect of the portrait of the sovereign lay “in having given her too much”.

There are two known copies of the work, which came from the collection of Cardinal Fesch and are now housed in the Musée Fesch of Ajaccio.

P. Nocchi, Élisa and her daughter Élisa Napoléone /em>

National Museum of Palazzo Mansi
Via Galli Tassi, 43

The museum is open according to the following schedule
Tuesday to Saturday from 8.30 AM to 7 PM. Closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays

Admission ticket: full 4 euros, reduced 2 euros; cumulative for the two national museums (Palazzo Mansi and Villa Guinigi) 6.50 euros, reduced 3.25 euros
Free admission for those under 18 years of age and over 65

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.