Maria Paola Bonaparte

"Maria Paola Bonaparte" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Tuesday 26th April 2011

(Ajaccio 1780-Florence 1825), princess Borghese, duchess of Guastalla, the 2nd sister of Napoleon I. In 1793 married a general Leclerc and followed him to San Domingo, from where returned as a widow (December 1802); in 1803 married a prince Camillo Borghese. Having received a duke-dome of Guastalla, she sold it to the kingdom of Italy in 1806, and after separation from her husband lived in Paris and in Rome. She was noted for her beauty and frivolty (posed naked for Venere sdraiata by Canova). Sent out from the court in 1810 because of lack of respect for the empress, Paolina reached Napoleon on the island of Elba in 1814. Went to Rome after Waterloo and accompanied her brother to the island of Saint Helen. She spent the last years of her life in Florence.

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