Views of Napoleon’s famous canot at the Musee de la Marine, Paris.
Truly a boat fit for an emperor!
On entering the Paris Musée de la Marine, the first thing the visitor sees is Napoleon’s wonderful canot – and it hits you right between the eyes. The gilding is fantastic, even down to the fish that adorn each of the oars.
What do you think – does it represent a challenge to amateur boatbuilders?
The canot was apparently built in secret and used by the emperor and his young empress Marie-Louise to inspect his fleet at what the museum authorities are pleased to call the Port of Anvers in 1810 – though the people who live there call it Antwerpen, while anglophones generally use the name Antwerp. I’ll put up a post about a painting of that event in a few days.
Of course there are lots of other things to see and do in Paris, as the Rough Guide to Paris makes clear!
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2 thoughts on “Napoleon’s own rowing boat”
Port of Anvers?… You mean Antwerp? It's alright to use an english name voor a non-french or non-frenchspeaking city in an english text. 😉 (although the french in 1810 begged to differ)
Quite right Wilhelmus! I was just repeating what the Paris museum authorities had said – but of course I know it's really Antwerp for the English, as I've lived in both Brussels and The Hague. Old Antwerp is a most interesting and pleasant place – I remember eating and drinking in a riverside cafe that had been built in the 12th century.
But I'm curious. Was the level of support for Napoleon in Antwerp really as strong as the artist who created the painting seems to suggest? It's an interesting question because the old city is obviously culturally different to France and French-speaking Belgium today, and I'd guess that it was different also in that era.