Napoleon's letter to Josephine to go under hammer in Moscow
A love letter by Napoleon Bonaparte, addressed to his first wife Josephine de Beauharnais in 1796, has been listed for the Gelos art auction in Moscow on February 26, RIA Novosti reported.
In his letter, the future French emperor and military genius, then 26, confesses to Josephine, then 32, that glory is a value to him only because it flatters her, and complains that her feelings toward him are nothing but a whim.
The love letter of one of the most illustrious couples in history had already been sold for $120,000 in 2006 and for $445,000 at Christie's art auction two years later.
About 800 art objects have been listed for the Gelos auction this year, including such top lots as Storm at Rocky Shores by Ivan Aivazovsky painted in 1875 and estimated at 5.5-8 million rubles (around $200,000), and Forest Landscape by Ivan Shishkin painted in 1889 and estimated at 4 million rubles ($138,000).
The auctioneers said they expected the Portrait of a Girl Wearing a Feather Hat by Konstantin Makovsky estimated at 13-16 million rubles to be interesting for art collectors. The portrait of Makovsky's wife painted in a similar manner was sold for nearly $390,000 at London's traditional Russian auction week in February.
Launched in 1988, Gelos now holds 120 auctions a year, selling more than 50,000 objects.