Throughout history, the arts and artists have thrived because of the unrelenting passion and support of patrons of art. Every year with its Patron of Art Edition, Montblanc recognizes one of history’s great patrons and the cultural legacy they left behind. Created in the Montblanc Artisan Atelier from precious materials and shaped by highly skilled master craftsmen with great care and dedication, the new Montblanc Patron of Art Edition celebrates the life and patronage of Napoléon Bonaparte (1769 –1821), Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1814, and again briefly in 1815 before his exile and death in 1821. Outside of his role as a formidable military leader and statesman, he was a champion of the arts. He ignited the revival of decorative arts and the era of Napoléon is regarded as the “Golden Age of French Craftsmanship“.
Napoléon paid particular attention to Neoclassicism, a movement in the visual arts, literature, music, theatre and architecture that drew inspiration from the classical art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. He commissioned artists, craftspeople and architects to work in what became known as the Empire style, with famous structures including the church of La Madeleine and the Arc de Triomphe emulating the imposing edifices of the Roman Empire.
To create the four Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Napoléon Editions, Montblanc has leaned into the métiers d’art – gold work, lacquering, gem-setting, engraving cameo engraving – to tell Napoléon’s story of a meteoric rise from soldier to consul to becoming the French emperor. The neo-classic style of the writing instruments combines geometric design and pure lines with rich decorations
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Napoléon Bonaparte Limited Edition 4810
While the blue lacquer on the cap and barrel is inspired by Napoléon‘s blue uniform, it also pays homage to the colour of the throne room in the palace of Fontainebleau. Symbol of immortality and resurrection, bees adorn the lacquered surface of the fountain pen. Because the bee is the oldest sovereign emblem from the Merovingian dynasty, the emperor chose the symbol to link his new dynasty to the first sovereigns of France.
The yellow gold-coated cap top is decorated with Napoléon’s coronation insignia including the coronation laurel wreath inspired by ancient Rome, the Imperial crown and eagle, and crowned with the Montblanc emblem in precious resin. The writing instrument’s clip evokes a sword blade, with a red clip stone representing the coronation ring of Napoléon’s wife Josephine. In keeping with the aesthetics of neoclassicism, the cap ring features a motif reminiscent of the ancient architecture. The delicate engravings on the gold-coated cone represent Napoléon’s bee with the Egyptian palm pattern, typical of Empire style decorative arts. A gold-coated coin with a portrait of the emperor in inlaid in the base of the writing instrument. The Au 750 solid gold nib features a special embossing of Napoléon wearing his famous bicorn hat.