Madame Bonaparte receiving Ambassadors at the Tuileries

French Empire style costumes. Ambassadors at the Tuileries. Empress Josephine Bonaparte.

Madame Bonaparte receiving Embassadors at the Tuileries

Madame Bonaparte receiving Ambassadors at the Tuileries by Felician Myrbach.

From the aquarelle by Felicien baron de Myrbach-Rheinfeld.

Still holding Madame Bonaparte by the hand, Talleyrand would present the members of the corps diplomatique to her, one after another, not mentioning them by name but designating the courts they represented. He then conducted her through the two drawing-rooms. As he was doing this, the first consul would enter unannounced. His dress for such occasions consisted of a very plain uniform coat, white woollen breeches, and top boots. Round his waist he wore a tricoloured silk scarf with a matching fringe, and in his hand he carried his soldier’s black hat. He would move quickly through the company, his simple costume making a striking contrast to the embarrassed coats, the cordons, and the jewels of the ambassadors and foreign dignitaries, even as the simple charm of Josephine’s dress gave her distinction amid the splendor of the ladies surrounding her. (Excerpt from the book: Empress Josephine by Ernest John Knapton)

From the Book: Life of Napoleon Bonaparte; (1896) by Sloane, William Milligan.