"The Seine-et-Marne and Napoleon: intimacy, powers, memories"

As part of the bicentenary of the death of Emperor Napoleon I, the Department, in partnership with the Château de Fontainebleau, is organising a scientific colloquium on "The Seine-et-Marne and Napoleon: intimacy, powers, memories".

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Introducing the colloquium

As part of the bicentenary of the death of Emperor Napoleon I, the Department is organising a scientific colloquium on The Seine-et-Marne and Napoleon: intimacy, powers, memories. It will deal with court life, the exercise of power, local authorities and the interaction between the Fontainebleau centre, French political life and international relations.

These study days will focus on understanding the hold of Napoleon's power over the Seine-et-Marne territory and inhabitants, through the restoration of the Catholic faith, through the prefectural power, through establishing the Gendarmerie, and through electoral procedures (a dialogue tool between the elites and the imperial regime). At the heart of the Napoleonic project also lies military commitment, based on conscription, which the vast majority of the Seine-et-Marne inhabitants accepted until 1813, the creation of an officers' school in Fontainebleau and the stay of prisoners of war, made prisoners during the continental campaigns.

A few major figures stand out in connection with Seine-et-Marne: the Minister of External Relations Caulaincourt, who negotiated the Treaty of Fontainebleau in the aftermath of the Paris capitulation, the Minister of State, Pierre Daru, closely associated with the Château du Matroy and Louis-Alexandre Berthier, organiser of the imperial hunts. For Fontainebleau and the Seine-et-Marne are not only a place of power, but also a place of life, at the heart of the imperial family’s intimacy and sociability.

Finally, the Napoleonic memory will be discussed, whether it is engraved in stone or depicted in graphic representations (architectural drawings of the Château de Fontainebleau). It is based on the memory of the farewell to the guard, a scene that is very present in the imagery of the time, on the memoirs written by witnesses to the Emperor's reign and, more generally, on the places of remembrance throughout the Department.


Monday 11th October - Château de Fontainebleau

Opening of the colloquium

  • 9 am | Introduction by the President of the Seine-et-Marne Department, the President of EPA of the Château de Fontainebleau and the Mayor of Fontainebleau ;
  • 9.45 am Thierry Lentz (Fondation Napoleon): What did Napoleon really say during his Farewell in Fontainebleau?
  • 10.30 am | Break.

1st panel of contributions: Intimacy

  • 11 am | Rémy Hême de Lacotte (Paris Sorbonne University): Intimacy and power: Napoleon's ecclesiastical entourage and the direction of the affairs of the Catholic cult ;
  • 11.30 am | Pierre Branda (Fondation Napoleon): The Emperor's House ;
  • 12 pm | Franck Favier (Lycée Janson de Sailly Paris): Berthier's action in Seine et Marne ;
  • 2.30 pm | Guided tour of the apartments, places for living and for exercising power - The Napoleon Museum, a project in motion. Napoleon exhibition in Fontainebleau. Guided tours (heritage and collections department of the Château de Fontainebleau).

Tuesday 12th October - Department Archives, Dammarie-lès-Lys

2nd panel of contributions: The military epic

  • 9 am | Annie Crépin (University of Artois): The power of the centralising State, the hold of the Napoleonic regime: the entrenchment of conscription in Seine-et-Marne ;
  • 9.30 am | Michel Roucaud (History Department of La Défense): Before Saint-Cyr, the Ecole Spéciale Militaire (Special Military School) in Fontainebleau (1803-1808): "studying to vanquish" ;
  • 10 am | Jacques-Olivier Boudon (Paris Sorbonne University): War prisoners in Seine-et-Marne under the Consulate and the Empire ;
  • 10.30 am | Break ;
  • 11 am | Bruno de Trémiolles (Château du Martroy), Pierre Daru, "Mon meilleur administrateur" ("My best administrator") ;
  • 11.30 am | Vincent Haegelé (Versailles Municipal Library): The 1814 campaign as seen by General Pelet-Clozeau, an actor, a witness and an analyser of history.

3rd panel : The Emperor and the Seine-et-Marne inhabitants

  • 2 pm | Olivier Plancke (relay teacher Department Archives of Seine-et-Marne): Napoleon's eyes, ears and sword arm: the Gendarmerie in Seine-et-Marne under the Consulate and the Empire ;
  • 2.30 pm | Laurent Refuveille (University of Lorraine): Elections in Seine-et-Marne during the Napoleonic era ;
  • 3 pm | Father Olivier Vatar (Diocese of Meaux): Mgr Pierre-Paul de Faudoas, Bishop of Meaux ;
  • 3.30 pm | Break ;
  • 4 pm | Exhibition and commentary of archive documents illustrating the Napoleonic era in Seine-et-Marne (Department Archives team).

Wednesday 13th October - Department archives, Dammarie-lès-Lys

4th panel of contributions: Political power

  • 9 am | Joseph Schmauch (Department Archives of Seine-et-Marne): The Count of Plancy, Prefect of Seine-et-Marne ;
  • 9.30 am | Marie Courtemanche (EHESS): Between glory, union and memory, the politics of the sacred under Napoleon ;
  • 10 am | Break.

5th panel of contributions: Memory

  • 10.30 am | Christophe Beyeler (Château de Fontainebleau): From one palace to the other. From the Musée des Souvenirs in the Louvre to the Grand Musée Napoleon I in Fontainebleau: legacies and perspectives ;
  • 11 am | Charles-Eloi Vial (National Library of France): A new outlook on the Emperor's intimacy: Fontainebleau, Napoleonic memorial site in the 19th century ;
  • 11.30 am | Jean Vittet (Château de Fontainebleau): "Que sont devenus les dessins d’architecture du château de Fontainebleau sous Napoléon ?" ("What became of the architectural drawings of the Château de Fontainebleau under Napoleon?") ;
  • 2 pm | Danièle Bullot (Association Histoire, Patrimoine et Environnement valençois) Napoleonic memory in Montereau-Fault-Yonne ;
  • 2.30 pm | Luc Duchamp (Archives et Musées de la Ville de Provins), "Des matériaux pour l’histoire de la Seine-et-Marne sous l’Empire : les manuscrits du bibliothécaire de la Ville de Provins, Nicolas Pasques (1744-1830)" ("Materials of the history of Seine-et-Marne during the Empire: manuscripts from the librarian of the Town of Provins, Nicolas Pasques (1744-1830)") ;
  • 3 pm | Break.

6th panel of contributions: Napoleon and the world

  • 3.30 pm | Marie-Pierre Rey (Professor, Paris Sorbonne University): 1814, the role of Russia in Napoleon's abdication ;
  • 4 pm | Olivier Varlan (Archivist-Palaeographer, agrégé and doctor in history, professor of history and geography at the Lycée Faidherbe in Lille): The Treaty of Fontainebleau (April 1814): Caulaincourt's only successful negotiation?

  • 5 pm | Conclusion of the colloquium by Mr Jean-Louis Thiériot, deputy.

Friday 21st May - Fontainebleau Municipal Theatre

  • 2.30 pm Theatrical performance: Le Chanoine de Milan by Le Théâtre des Grognards - Les Grognards de la Marne, Fontainebleau Municipal Theatre
    • Performance for scholars
  • 8.30 pm Theatrical performance: Le Chanoine de Milan by Le Théâtre des Grognards - Les Grognards de la Marne, Fontainebleau Municipal Theatre
    • Performance for the general public

THEATRE "Le Souper imprévu ou Le Chanoine de Milan" ("The Unexpected Supper or The Canon of Milan")

21/05/2021 - Fontainebleau Municipal Theatre

May 1796: the French armies enter Milan behind their valiant General, a short Corsican from Ajaccio, who is not displeased to hear there is some talk about him in Paris. Meanwhile, Canon Barnabé, saintly in love with every one of life’s pleasures, is preparing for the delights of the supper on the occasion of which is to take place the wedding project of his nephew Benedetto, an Italian of the bragger and coward kind, with the beautiful Cœlénie. But they reckoned without the arrival of soldiers from the young French Republic, with their charms and... their appetites!

Strange confrontations between the Italian clergy and the French citizen-soldier from the Levée-en-masse (mass conscription), two comical types drawn as caricatures - but maybe not so much! Everything seems to set them apart, with the exception of a common passion for a piously strategic book: "The French cook", eventually bringing them together around a table.

This "topical comedy", which was written by Alexandre Duval and performed during the 1st Italian Campaign in 1796, was created to bring to Paris the events which were taking place in Italy at the time with the Directory; but also as a celebration of victory and of General Bonaparte's willingness to show respect for the invaded populations, or at least to have them believe so, using... macaroni. For as Alexandre Duval proudly claimed, this is the play that helped establish the popularity of macaroni in France, and that is not the least of its success.