Art: Napoleon's Things

Napoleona went on exhibition last week at the Museum of French Art in Manhattan. Maudlin sentimentalizers sniffled; shallow women giggled, pointed. In a glass case they saw something looking like a maltreated strip of buckskin shoelace or a shriveled eel. It was a mummified tendon taken from Napoleon's body at the postmortem. Then there were locks of Napoleon's hair, his white breeches, a flounce of Alengon lace from Marie Louise's wedding dress, a baby dress worn by L'Aiglon (Napoleon's only legitimate child), a death mask of Napoleon cast in bronze from the papier...

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