Napoleon Bonaparte

French military and political leader, Napoleon Bonaparte has become a familiar name after his many victories in Europe and rapid growth of power. Born on the Island of Corsica in 1769, he rose through the French military ranks during the French Revolution from 1789-1799. In 1802 a constitutional amendment made Napoleon the first consul of the government of France for life and two years later he crowned himself Emperor of France in a lavish ceremony within the Cathedral of Notre Dame. During his many campaigns to expand his power and reign through Europe, he began the practice of looting those he conquered in order to raise funds to support the war and lift the morale of the Parisian people back in France. He created the first official military division devoted to seizing and shipping art. This art was eventually put in the art museum, the Musee du Louvre. It is through this war campaign that he gained the majority of the art associated with him, including The Concert by Titian which had previously been held by the Medici family in Venice. Napoleon lost his footing as Emperor after his unsuccessful campaign in Russia during 1812 and was eventually exiled to the Island of Elba in 1814. After another unsuccessful 100 days campaign, culminating in the defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, he was again exiled to the Island of St. Helena and eventually died at the age of 51 in 1821. (NB)

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