Paintings, arms, furniture and numerous objects that
belonged to the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte form
part of the Napoleonic Museum's surprising collection,
assiduously acquired over the years at multimillion
dollar European art auctions by the wealthy Oreste
Ferrera and, since 1960, part of the heritage of the
It is housed in the former Ferrera mansion with
an impressive Florentine Renaissance structure,
located alongside the National University of Cuba's
The exhibits are organized chronologically around the
political and military events in Napoleon's life,
emperor of France, 1804-1815.
Two of the museum's most impressive paintings are
Return from Elba and The Battle of Waterloo. The
latter dramatically depicting a scene from one of the
history's most famous defeats.
Another treasure is Jean Baptiste Rehnault's
monumental Bonaparte on the Bois de Boulogne, on
exhibit in the First Empire Room, along with arms and
carved ebony furniture representative of the period.
Other popular objects are Napoleon's pistol and the
hat he wore on St. Helen, but the favorite piece is
undoubtedly the exiled leader's death mask, brought to
Cuba by Dr. Francesco Antommarchi, who attended him to
the end of his days.