Pierre-Jean Chalencon is one of the world's foremost collectors of Napoleon I, including personal effects, books from the palace libraries, paintings, engravings, sculptures and drawings. He has shown his extensive collection around the world and is an expert on Napoleon I, giving lectures, working with auction houses who seek his expertise, and has written a book. I was fortunate to visit his apartment and view his magnificent collection.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Rueil Malmaison and St. Germain en Laye.
What was your first introduction to Napoleon and how old were you?
Eight years old when I received a book about his life for children.
What was your first piece of Napoleon art you bought and how did you acquire it?
A print poster from 1814 when I was 13. When I was 17 I received a motorcycle for a birthday gift and traded it in for the money to buy a hand written letter by Napoleon I.
Was there someone who taught you about collecting and the business of antiques when you started?
Mr Roger Prigent in New York and Malmaison antique.
How many pieces are in your collection and what are the most prized ones?
1200 pieces. A painting by Antoine Jean Gros of Bonaparte first consul 1803.
Please tell us about your new travelling exhbit.
In 2012 it will go to Bogota and Medillin, Columbia and after that Iowa University in June, then The Museum of the Rockies in Montana.
What are some misconceptions about Napoleon that people have and what do you strive to educate people about?
Napoleon was a self-made man.
You have lectured around the world about Napoleon and have also written a book. Please tell us about some of the highlights of your travels and exhibits.
Some of the highlights were The National Geographic Museum in Washington, The Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and The Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans. My book is Napoleon: The Immortal Emperor.
What museums and exhibitions do you recommend people to see in Paris to familiarize them with Napoleon?
The Invalides Museum and Malmaison near Paris.
What do you prefer about Paris?
The good life...... food, friends, fashion ….culture. Yes, the very good life.
In addition to my Eye Prefer Paris Tours, we now offer Eye Prefer New York Tours, 3-hour walking tours of New York's best neighborhoods including Soho, Meatpacking/West Village & Tribeca. Tours cost $195 for up to 3 people and $65 for each additional person.Come take a bit of the Big Apple on an Eye Prefer New York Tour!
Come experience my blog ìliveî with my Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I lead. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris. www.eyepreferparistours.com
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotteís professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.