The Empire in Its Hot-Bed of Vice

Madame Récamier was married to her biological father. Myself I am not as excited by this incestuous relationship, as I am by the beautiful furniture that comes along with it; after all the legendary woman did not neglect to show it to all of Paris, and as every experienced interrogator knows, the demonstration of the instrument is more effective than the torture itself; so, I suspect Juliette Récamer understood that the site of her dream-boat inflamed the imaginative Romantic minds far better than any concessions to passion.

lit de madame recamierWe could cover walls with names of domestic and international admirers who drooled all over their shoes ogling this Empire-style masterpiece: three generations of Montmorency, Benjamin Constant, Lucien Bonaparte, General Bernadotte, General Moreau, Grand-Duke Mecklembourg-Strélitz, Prince Metternich, Chateaubriand…, today you too can see it in Musée du Louvre, in the Richelieu wing — upstairs, room 69.

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