In 1801 Percier and Fontaine added a porch shaped as a campaign tent at the front to house the servants.
Inside the architects transformed the hall by using four stucco columns to create a room that resembled the atrium of a Roman villa. Originally there were sliding mirrors in the central arcades which gave entry to the Billiard Room and the Dining Room on either side. The chairs in the hall are by the Jacob Brothers and came from Murat's library at the Elysee Palace.
The Billiard Room was designed by Percier and Fontaine in 1800. The fifteen X-shaped stools covered with red Moroccan leather, together with two semicircular gilded tables were supplied in 1808 by Jacob-Desmalter for the gallery which was destroyed by fire in 1832.
The Gilded Room
The Music Room was designed over three small rooms to form a gallery to display paintings by contemporary artists in the troubadour style favoured by Josephine.
The Music Room
The four armchairs and two of its original four settees had been returned to the Music Room together with the harp that belonged to the Empress Josephine.
The Dining Room
The Council Room
The Library at the opposite end of the chateau to the Music room was similarly formed by removing the partitions of three smaller rooms to create one large space. The wall are lined with mahogany made by the Jacob Brothers in 1800. Concealed behind a mirror is a hidden staircase by which Napoleon could make his way discreetly to his apartment on the first floor. The magnificent bureau was used by Napoleon in his Cabinet at the Tuileries, throughout his reign.
When they first moved to Malmaison Napoleon and Jospehine shared what is now known as the Empress' Bedchamber but in 1803 Napoleon decided to move his quarters to two small rooms in the south wing above the library and Council Room. The room is now used to display portraits of the imperial family including a portrait of Empress Josephine by Reisner, son of Marie-Antoinette's cabinet maker.
The Emperor's Drawing Room
The octagonal pedestal table purchased by Napoleon III is part of the chateau's original furniture.
The bed by Jacob-Desmalter in the Emperor's Bedchamber had been delivered in 1806 for Prince Eugene's bedchamber at the Tuileries Palace and while the chairs came from Saint Cloud they have been covered with a reproduction of the original fabric.
The Emperor's Bedchamber
The Emperor's Bedchamber
The Arms Room and the Marengo Room have been transformed into museum rooms displaying mementoes belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte, General and First Consul and works dating from the Consular period.
Stool shaped as crossed swords (a pair) c 1813-1814 attributed to Martin-Guillame Biennais (1746-1843)
Prince Eugene, Viceroy of Italy
Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825),
Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul,
Crossing the Alps at Great-Saint-Bernard Pass, (detail)
oil on canvas 1801
The Austerlitz Table displays around Napoleon crowned as emperor, the portraits of his joint chiefs of staff on the day of the battle of Austerlitz (2nd December, 1805).
Austerlitz Table (detail)
Manufacture de Sevres 1806
Painted by Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767-1855)
The three rooms formerly part of Queen Hortense and Prince Eugene's apartment have been used to display mementoes belonging to Empress Josephine. As part of her divorce settlement Napoleon gave Malmaison to Josephine together with the 14th century chateau Navarre in Normandy. She kept the Elysee Palace maintained her rank of empress, and all her honours and prerogatives. And if that was not enough, all her debts were paid off and she was awarded an income of 3 million francs per annum for life.
How ironic when the reason Napoleon divorced Josephine was to get an heir for his empire when it turned out that it was her grandson, rather than any children of napoleon who would be the next emperor of France (Napoleon III). Today her direct descendants occupy the thrones of Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Luxembourg while Napoleon's sit on none.
The most spectacular part of the collection is of almost fifty pieces of the two ceremonial services commissioned by the Empress and her son Prince Eugene to the Dihl et Guerhard porcelain factory after her divorce. After the collapse of the Empire they were taken to Munich and were used used by Russian descendants of the prince before being confiscated during the Russian Revolution. the pieces now at Malmaison were sold by the Soviets between the two World wars.
Manufacture de Dihl et Guerhard, Paris
Dessert plates commissioned by Empress Josephine after the divorce
hard-past porcelain c 1811-1813
The Frieze Room occupies the bedchamber of Mlle Avrillon, the Empress' chambermaid, along with Josephine's bathroom.
The Empress' Bedchamber was redecorated by the architect Berhault after the divorce while the Empress went to Milan in the summer of 1812. He created a magnificent room shaped as a tent. The gilded wood bed by Jacob-Desmalter (1812) was where Josephine died on May 29 1814.
The Empress' Bedchamber
During the Consulate when the couple shared the same bedchamber the Ordinary bedchamber was used whenever one of them was ill. After becoming Empress Josephine turned the room into her Ordinary Bedchamber as opposed to the ceremonial one next door. She used the room to read and write letters and was where she kept her jewels.
The Ordinary Bedchamber
Pompeian motifs on the walls of the Dressing Room
The Boudoir was used as a sitting room and as a small dining room for small intimate gatherings. On occasion she would invite a female orang-utan dressed in a white chemise to eat turnips among her guests at a table.
The estate at Malmaison grew to be three hundred acres of gardens, woods and pasture and a magnificent collection of statuary. Josephine kept a menagerie of exotic animals including kangaroo, emu, flying squirrel, gazelle, ostriches, lamas and a cockatoo that only knew one word (Napoleon) which it repeated endlessly.
The last resident of Malmaison was Napoleon. After Waterloo he spent a fortnight there, before his embarkation for St Helena.