Biography of Julie Bernard Récamier (1777-1849)

French lady born 4 December 1777 in Lyon and died on May 11, 1849 in Paris, which became a famous salon that attracted the most important literary and political figures of the first half of the century XIX.

Daughter of a prosperous banker, received a careful education. In 1792 he/she moved to Paris with her father and, without having even one year elapsed, married an important banker. He/She was a woman of great beauty and wit, qualities that knew how to take advantage of when he/she founded a salon in Paris which soon became the place more glamorous in the city, where gathered the most important figures in politics and the arts. Regular customers included realistic antique and other characters as Julio Bernadotte, who would later become Carlos XIV of Sweden and Norway, and general Jean Moreau, opposed to the Government of Napoleon. In 1805 the Napoleonic policy caused great losses in the finances of her husband, and the same year he/she ordered his exile from Paris.

After spending some time in Genoa with his good friend Madame de Staël, Julie moved to Rome in 1813 and to Naples. A literary portrait of Madame Récamier can be found in the novel Staël wrote at this time, call Corinne. He/She returned to Paris after the defeat of Napoleon's Waterloo in 1815, though their finances were found again depleted. Out of spite with the adverse situation, he/she reopened her salon after 1819 and continued receiving visitors at l'Abbaye-aux-Bois, a convent in which possessed an isolated suite. In recent years that Chateaubriand spent in France he/she frequented the company of Madame Récamier and, in fact, was probably the central figure in his living room, where I used to read his books. While several of the most famous and powerful men of the time were included among his admirers, none had a big influence on her as Chateaubriand. On the other hand, François Gérard made two well known portrait of this lady.