Eugène de Beauharnais, 1827
Plaster. 275 cm
Inventory number: A156
Works, relating to this work: Thorvaldsen, Monument to the Duke of Leuchtenberg Eugène de Beauharnais, marble version, 1830, Church of Saint Michael, Munich, GermanyEnlarge photo
Monument to the Duke of Leuchtenberg Eugène de Beauharnais. Erected in marble on the Duke’s tomb in St. Michael’s Church in Munich in 1830. Eugène de Beauharnais was a French officer, the son of General Alexandre and Joséphine de Beauharnais. Joséphine’s second husband was none other than Napoleon, who adopted Eugène. He took part as an officer in military actions in places including Italy, Egypt and Russia. On the establishment of the French Empire he was given the title of Prince of France and the following year was made Viceroy in Italy. In 1806 he married a daughter of King Josef Maximilian I of Bavaria, which was to prove to be very useful, for after the fall of Napoleon, his fatherin-law appointed him Duke of Leuchtenberg. In Thorvaldsen’s work, Eugène is seen to have abandoned his armour. He holds a laurel wreath in his hand as a sign of the distinction he had achieved while alive.