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The show

From 3 March to 4 June 2023 Palazzo Reale presents in the Parata Apartments the focus "A CASA DEL VICERE'. Eugene di Beauharnais in Napoleonic Milan", an in-depth study of art, taste and fashion in the Napoleonic era in the environments of the court of Eugene of Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy, who during his regency in the city of Milan (1805 - 1814) was a promoter of the arts and manufacturing production, giving a great impulse and influencing the cultural, social and economic life of the first Kingdom of Italy.

The focus AT THE VICERO'S HOUSE. Eugenio di Beauharnais in Napoleonic Milan is promoted by the Municipality of Milan-Culture, produced and organized by Palazzo Reale and the Fondazione Scuola Beato Angelico in collaboration with Château de Malmaison, and was curated by Domenico Piraina, Bianca Girardi, Simone Percacciolo with an exhibition design by 'arch. Annalisa Santaniello.

Five rooms (the Tapestries Room and the Four Columns Room) house works and furnishings from Milan at the beginning of the 19th century , which framed the personalities who most influenced the taste of the time: Napoleon and the viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais.

The exhibition itinerary highlights local art and craftsmanship, the neoclassical taste and retour d'Egypte which found maximum expression in the Empire Style of the Napoleonic courts, between symbol and pure aesthetic research. The portraits of the Viceroy and his wife Amalia , two works by Andrea Appiani, the court painter, are among the masterpieces of the exhibition , thanks to the loan from France after the exhibition at Malmaison and Château de Bois-Préau (9 Oct. 2022 – 9 Jan. 2023) which saw them as protagonists.

In addition to the collaboration with Malmaison, the main lenders include ministerial and civic institutions such as the Braidense Library of Milan, the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the Metropolitan City of Milan, the Civic Collections of Applied Art of the Castello Sforzesco, Palazzo Morando Moda - Costume - Immagine, Palazzo Moriggia – Museum of the Risorgimento, which made possible the realization of the exhibition project.

On the occasion of the exhibition, Palazzo Reale offers the public a preview of the result of the long restoration work of one of its symbols: the Napoleonic centerpiece , the work of the Roman mosaicist Giacomo Raffaelli (1753-1836). From 3 to 8 March 2023 the work will be exhibited in the Sala delle Cariatidi, while from 14 March it will be visible to the public in the Sala delle Quattro Colonne , as the new museum venue for the work.

The centerpiece has a strong link with Beauharnais and the Napoleonic court, since it decorated the table for the banquet that the viceroy offered in honor of Napoleon for his coronation as King.

The centerpiece is made up of three parts: a long central element of about 9 meters composed of 13 marble bases and two twin elements that were placed at the ends of the main parterre, each 1.60 meters long and each formed by 2 marble bases. The entire composition reaches a total of 13 meters and is made up of 242 pieces. The precious materials that the artist used for the work range from the white Carrara marble of the bases, to the alabaster of the columns of the lateral temples, to the red Egyptian porphyry of the bollards, to the lapis lazuli inserts of the bases. The entire work has been the subject of philological study focused on the recovery of some parts over the years, disassembled and stored in warehouses, to return it to the public in its sumptuous and original completeness.

The restoration, wanted by the Councilor for Culture Tommaso Sacchi and the Director of Palazzo Reale Domenico Piraina, took place under the direction of the Archaeological, Fine Arts and Landscape Superintendency of the Metropolitan City of Milan, in the person of Dr. Paola Strada, based on a project by Ilaria Bianca Perticucci, head of the Restoration Laboratories of the Beato Angelico School Foundation and in collaboration with the students of the Brera Academy Restoration School and thanks to the support of the Atlante Foundation, of the Uvet Group, a patron who has repeatedly engaged in recovery interventions and enhancement of cultural heritage. Furthermore, the 3D scan, created by AERARIUMCHAIN documented its state of conservation, offering the basis for monitoring and conservation for the future.

Technical sponsors: AERARIUMCHAIN, Traveling with the tube, TRAART – Trasportiamo srl

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


piazza Duomo, 12
20122 Milan


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