Chateau de Malmaison
The rose has a history that Piaget is committed to preserving. By becoming a patron of the project to restore the "former" rose garden of the Château de Malmaison, Swiss watchmaker and jeweller Piaget is contributing to bringing one of the most beautiful testimonials to the love of roses back to life.
Piaget as a patron of the arts
Piaget is making a contribution to the restoration of the castle’s former rose garden to its original splendour by sponsoring the renovation project spearheaded by the Musée National de Malmaison, in preparation for the bicentennial of the death of the Empress in 2014.
The woman whom Napoleon renamed Josephine had, from birth, a predilection for roses thanks to her given name, Rose. The collection that she brought together at Malmaison became, just like the Piaget Rose jewelry collection, one of the most beautiful and enviable collections in all of Europe, thanks to the diversity of some 250 varieties it contained in 1814.
The Malmaison Museum will bring this collection to life again, and at the end of the reconstruction, it will present 750 rose bushes from the First to the Second Empire, enhancing our knowledge of the botanical work of the Empress.
This project will take the form of a pedagogical worksite through partnership with the Centre de Formation Professionnelle et de Promotion Horticole of St. Germain-en-Laye. Piaget is proud to be associated with this ambitious programme, which will enable the public to experience Josephine’s passion for roses.
The Empress Josephine
One woman above all others incarnates the passion for roses: the Empress Josephine. For this woman of refined taste, a leader of fashion, roses are an essential presence. In her gardens, her salons, even on her clothing and in her hair, which she adorned with fresh flowers, roses were part of her daily life.
But Josephine’s interest went beyond coquettish fashion. She was a woman ahead of her time, a woman who had an inexhaustible curiosity and a desire to preserve and to share. She hired botanists and sent them out over the world in quest of species of roses that did not exist on the continent.
She gave Redouté, the water colour painter, a mandate to catalogue very precisely the varieties that she gathered together in the palace gardens.
The rose garden she assembled is a veritable conservatory of roses. The works of Redouté, along with this exceptional garden itself, have lent an essential contribution to our knowledge of roses.
The Château de Malmaison
Located some fifteen kilometres from Paris, the Château de Malmaison was acquired by Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte in 1799. The future empress was to give this domain the special character that still accounts for its charm today. From 1800 to 1802, under the Consulate, this little palace became, along with the Tuileries, the seat of the government of France.
Josephine never tired in her efforts to make the "Imperial Palace of Malmaison" and especially its park, a place of wonder. To the very great variety of plants in her garden, she unstintingly added the company of exotic animals: black swans, ostriches, zebras, and antelopes. The Emperor divorced the Empress for reasons of state in 1809 and gave her the domain of Malmaison, which remained Josephine’s favourite residence until her death in 1814.
The Château de Malmaison then passed into private hands, and was gifted to the French State by a generous donor in 1904. Today it belongs to the Musées Nationaux Français.