ANONYMOUS (France) Portrait of Joachim-Napoléon Murat (1767-1815) ca. 1860 [R/V] - x +

CN: PHOT1860mura

MT: albumen print on paper mounted on card (9x6 / C:10x6)

TX: inscribed with fountain pen at lower center of margin in French <Pce Joachim Murat>, inscribed with pencil at rear upper center <Joachim Murat>

PR: Maison Alphonse Giroux, Paris

DN: Mr. Megakles Rogakos - 2009

CM: Joachim-Napoléon Murat (1767-1815) was 1st Prince Murat, Grand Duke of Berg and Cleves, Marshal of France, was King of the Two Sicilies from 1808 to 1815. He received his titles in part by being the brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte, through marriage to Napoleon's youngest sister, Caroline Bonaparte. § His father was the son of Guillaume Murat (1692-1754) and wife Marguerite Herbeil (- 1755), paternal grandson of Pierre Murat, born in 1634, and wife Catherine Badourès, died in 1697, and maternal grandson of Bertrand Herbeil and wife Anne Roques. § Joachim Murat was born on 25 March 1767 in La Bastide, Gascony, France (later renamed Labastide-Murat), to Pierre Murat-Jordy (d. 1799), an innkeeper, and his wife Jeanne Loubières (1722-1806), daughter of Pierre Loubières and wife Jeanne Viellescazes. Murat enlisted in the cavalry at the age of 20. In 1791, he joined the king's Constitutional Guard, but left it soon for the regular army. In 1792 he became an officer. He was a staunch supporter of the notorious revolutionary Jacobin Jean-Paul Marat, and thus believed in a philosophy championing a strong centralized government in the form of a republic. § His brother-in-law made him a Marshal of France on 18 May 1804. Napoleon also granted him the title of "First Horseman of Europe". He was created Prince of the Empire in 1805, appointed Grand Duke of Berg and Cleves on 15 March 1806 and held this title till 1 August 1808. He was named King of Naples and Sicily on 1 August 1808. Murat was equally useful in Napoleon's invasion of Russia (1812), and in the Battle of Leipzig (1813). However, after France's defeat at Leipzig, Murat reached an agreement with the Austrian Empire in order to save his own throne. During the Hundred Days, he realized that the European Powers, meeting as the Congress of Vienna, had the intention to remove him and return the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily to its pre-Napoleonic rulers. Murat deserted his new allies, and, after issuing a proclamation to the Italian patriots in Rimini, moved north to fight against the Austrians in the Neapolitan War to strengthen his rule in Italy by military means. He was defeated by Frederick Bianchi, a general of Francis I of Austria, in the Battle of Tolentino (2-3 May 1815). He fled to Corsica after Napoleon's fall. During an attempt to regain Naples through an insurrection in Calabria, he was arrested by the forces of his rival, Ferdinand IV of Naples, and on 13 October 1815 was eventually executed standing and unblindfolded by firing squad at the Castello di Pizzo, Calabria. Murat is memorialized by a grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery though it is claimed he is not actually buried there, but that his body was lost or destroyed after his execution. It is also claimed he is buried in a church in Pizzo making it possible his body was later moved. § He and Caroline Bonaparte had four children: Achille Charles Louis Napoléon Murat, 1st Sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo, 2nd Prince Murat (1801-1847); Princess Marie Letizia Josephine Annonciade Murat (1802-1859); Lucien Charles Joseph Napoléon Murat, 2nd Sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo, 3rd Prince Murat (1803-1878); and Princess Louise Julie Caroline Murat (1805-1889).

[Megakles Rogakos 12/2009]