Jean Béraud was a French painter renowned for his numerous paintings depicting the life of Paris, the nightlife of Paris society. Pictures of the Champs Elysees, cafés, Montmartre and the banks of the Seine are detailed illustrations of everyday Parisian life during the "Belle Époque", he painted religious subjects in a contemporary setting. Béraud was born in Saint Petersburg, his father was a sculptor and was working on the site of St. Isaac's Cathedral at the time of his son's birth. Béraud's mother was one Geneviève Eugénie Jacquin. Béraud was in the process of being educated as a lawyer until the occupation of Paris during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. Béraud became a student of Léon Bonnat, exhibited his paintings at the Salon for the first time in 1872. However, he did not gain recognition until 1876, with his On the Way Back from the Funeral, he exhibited with the Society of French Watercolorists at the 1889 World's Fair in Paris. He painted many scenes of Parisian daily life during the Belle Époque in a style that stands somewhere between the academic art of the Salon and that of the Impressionists.
He received the Légion d'honneur in 1894. Béraud's paintings included truth-based humour and mockery of late 19th-century Parisian life, along with frequent appearances of biblical characters in contemporary situations. Paintings such as Mary Magdalene in the House of the Pharisees aroused controversy when exhibited, because of these themes. Towards the end of the 19th century, Béraud dedicated less time to his own painting but worked on numerous exhibition committees, including the Salon de la Société Nationale. Béraud never had no children, he died in Paris on October 4, 1935, is buried in Montparnasse Cemetery beside his mother. In France, Béraud was popular, in particular, liked by Guy de Maupassant who called him "adorable's adversaries". However, his work is ignored by art historians of the period. After the Revolution, Russian artists received Béraud's work with irony, seeing them as the embodiment of Western commercial consumption, indulging, in their opinion, in the bourgeois tastes of the rich middle-class.
Painting style shifted from academic towards impressionism. However, while the major Impressionists fled the chaotic milieu of Paris and painted landscapes of the surrounding areas, Béraud - like his friend Édouard Manet, in some of his paintings, Edgar Degas, depicted the busy environment of late nineteenth century urban life. Artistic techniques used by Béraud, in particular, when drawing the so-called À la salle Graffard, were adopted by other artists; the upper part of the picture is hidden in a light haze, the musicians and spectators are depicted in the foreground, while the performers stand out against a darker background. Jean Béraud's Paris scenes Jean Béraud's Paris cityscapes Patrick Offenstadt, The Belle Epoque: A Dream of Times Gone by Jean Béraud, Taschen - Wildenstein Institute, Paris, 1999. Tate Collection | Jean Béraud at www.tate.org.uk artnet.com A large selection of Béraud's work
Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola was a French novelist, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse…! Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902. Zola was born in Paris in 1840, his father, François Zola, was an Italian engineer, born in Venice in 1795, who engineered the Zola Dam in Aix-en-Provence, his mother, Émilie Aubert, was French. The family moved to Aix-en-Provence in the southeast. Four years in 1847, his father died, leaving his mother on a meager pension. In 1858, the Zolas moved to Paris. Zola started to write in the romantic style, his widowed mother had planned a law career for Émile. Before his breakthrough as a writer, Zola worked as a clerk in a shipping firm and in the sales department for a publisher.
He wrote literary and art reviews for newspapers. As a political journalist, Zola did not hide his dislike of Napoleon III, who had run for the office of president under the constitution of the French Second Republic, only to misuse this position as a springboard for the coup d'état that made him emperor. In 1862, Zola was naturalized as a French citizen. In 1865, he met Éléonore-Alexandrine Meley, who called herself Gabrielle, a seamstress, who became his mistress, they married on the 31 May 1870. She was instrumental in promoting his work; the marriage remained childless. Alexandrine Zola had a child before she met Zola that she had given up, because she was unable to take care of it; when she confessed this to Zola after their marriage, they went looking for the girl, but she had died a short time after birth. In 1888, he obtained a near professional level of expertise. In 1888, Alexandrine hired Jeanne Rozerot, a seamstress, to live with them in their home in Médan. Zola fell in love with Jeanne and fathered two children with her: Denise in 1889 and Jacques in 1891.
After Jeanne left Médan for Paris, Zola continued to visit her and their children. In November 1891 Alexandrine discovered the affair, which brought the marriage to the brink of divorce; the discord was healed, which allowed Zola to take an active role in the lives of the children. After Zola's death, the children were given his name as their lawful surname. During his early years, Zola wrote numerous short stories and essays, four plays, three novels. Among his early books was Contes à Ninon, published in 1864. With the publication of his sordid autobiographical novel La Confession de Claude attracting police attention, Hachette fired Zola, his novel Les Mystères de Marseille appeared as a serial in 1867. After his first major novel, Thérèse Raquin, Zola started the series called Les Rougon-Macquart, about a family under the Second Empire. In Paris, Zola maintained his friendship with Cézanne, who painted a portrait of him with another friend from Aix-en-Provence, writer Paul Alexis, entitled Paul Alexis Reading to Zola.
More than half of Zola's novels were part of a set of 20 collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart. Unlike Balzac, who in the midst of his literary career resynthesized his work into La Comédie Humaine, Zola from the start, at the age of 28, had thought of the complete layout of the series. Set in France's Second Empire, the series traces the "environmental" influences of violence and prostitution which became more prevalent during the second wave of the Industrial Revolution; the series examines two branches of a family—the respectable Rougons and the disreputable Macquarts—for five generations. As he described his plans for the series, "I want to portray, at the outset of a century of liberty and truth, a family that cannot restrain itself in its rush to possess all the good things that progress is making available and is derailed by its own momentum, the fatal convulsions that accompany the birth of a new world."Although Zola and Cézanne were friends from childhood, they experienced a falling out in life over Zola's fictionalized depiction of Cézanne and the Bohemian life of painters in Zola's novel L'Œuvre.
From 1877, with the publication of l'Assommoir, Émile Zola became wealthy. Because l'Assommoir was such a success, Zola was able to renegotiate his contract with his publisher Georges Charpentier to receive more than 14 percent royalties and the exclusive rights to serial publication in the press, he became a figurehead among the literary bourgeoisie and organized cultural dinners with Guy de Maupassant, Joris-Karl Huysmans, other writers at his luxurious villa in Médan, near Paris, after 1880. Germinal in 1885 the three "cities"—Lourdes and Paris, established Zola as a successful author; the self-proclaimed leader of French naturalism, Zola's works inspired operas such as those of Gustave Charpentier, notably Louise in the 1890s. His works, inspired by the concepts of heredity, social Manicheanism, idealistic socialism, resonate with those of Nadar and subsequently Flaubert, he is considered to be a significant influence on those writers that are credited with the creation of the so-called new journalism.
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary; the largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public; the goal of serving researchers is shifting to serving the general public. There are many types of museums, including art museums, natural history museums, science museums, war museums, children's museums. Amongst the world's largest and most visited museums are the Louvre in Paris, the National Museum of China in Beijing, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. the British Museum and National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Vatican Museums in Vatican City.
According to The World Museum Community, there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries. The English "museum" comes from the Latin word, is pluralized as "museums", it is from the Ancient Greek Μουσεῖον, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses, hence a building set apart for study and the arts the Musaeum for philosophy and research at Alexandria by Ptolemy I Soter about 280 BC. The purpose of modern museums is to collect, preserve and display items of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the education of the public. From a visitor or community perspective, the purpose can depend on one's point of view. A trip to a local history museum or large city art museum can be an entertaining and enlightening way to spend the day. To city leaders, a healthy museum community can be seen as a gauge of the economic health of a city, a way to increase the sophistication of its inhabitants. To a museum professional, a museum might be seen as a way to educate the public about the museum's mission, such as civil rights or environmentalism.
Museums are, above all, storehouses of knowledge. In 1829, James Smithson's bequest, that would fund the Smithsonian Institution, stated he wanted to establish an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."Museums of natural history in the late 19th century exemplified the Victorian desire for consumption and for order. Gathering all examples of each classification of a field of knowledge for research and for display was the purpose; as American colleges grew in the 19th century, they developed their own natural history collections for the use of their students. By the last quarter of the 19th century, the scientific research in the universities was shifting toward biological research on a cellular level, cutting edge research moved from museums to university laboratories. While many large museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, are still respected as research centers, research is no longer a main purpose of most museums. While there is an ongoing debate about the purposes of interpretation of a museum's collection, there has been a consistent mission to protect and preserve artifacts for future generations.
Much care and expense is invested in preservation efforts to retard decomposition in aging documents, artifacts and buildings. All museums display objects; as historian Steven Conn writes, "To see the thing itself, with one's own eyes and in a public place, surrounded by other people having some version of the same experience can be enchanting."Museum purposes vary from institution to institution. Some favor education over conservation, or vice versa. For example, in the 1970s, the Canada Science and Technology Museum favored education over preservation of their objects, they displayed objects as well as their functions. One exhibit featured a historic printing press that a staff member used for visitors to create museum memorabilia; some seek to reach a wide audience, such as a national or state museum, while some museums have specific audiences, like the LDS Church History Museum or local history organizations. Speaking, museums collect objects of significance that comply with their mission statement for conservation and display.
Although most museums do not allow physical contact with the associated artifacts, there are some that are interactive and encourage a more hands-on approach. In 2009, Hampton Court Palace, palace of Henry VIII, opened the council room to the general public to create an interactive environment for visitors. Rather than allowing visitors to handle 500-year-old objects, the museum created replicas, as well as replica costumes; the daily activities, historic clothing, temperature changes immerse the visitor in a slice of what Tudor life may have been. This section lists the 20 most visited museums in 2015 as compiled by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association's annual report on the world's most visited attractions. For 2016 figures see List of most visited museums; the cities of London and Washington, D. C. contain more of the 20 most visited museums in the world than any others, with six museums and four museums, respectively. Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts.
These were displayed in so-called wonder rooms or cabinets of curiosities. One of the oldest museums known is Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum, built by Princess Ennigaldi at the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire; the site dates from c. 530 BCE, contained artifacts from earlier M
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is built the tower. Constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it was criticised by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world; the Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world. The tower is 324 metres tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, the tallest structure in Paris, its base is square. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres. Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest free-standing structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.
The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the second levels. The top level's upper platform is 276 m above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to lift to the first and second levels; the climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is accessible only by lift; the design of the Eiffel Tower is attributed to Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers working for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel. It was envisioned after discussion about a suitable centrepiece for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a world's fair to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Eiffel acknowledged that inspiration for a tower came from the Latting Observatory built in New York City in 1853. In May 1884, working at home, Koechlin made a sketch of their idea, described by him as "a great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses at regular intervals".
Eiffel showed little enthusiasm, but he did approve further study, the two engineers asked Stephen Sauvestre, the head of company's architectural department, to contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the base of the tower, a glass pavilion to the first level, other embellishments; the new version gained Eiffel's support: he bought the rights to the patent on the design which Koechlin and Sauvestre had taken out, the design was exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884 under the company name. On 30 March 1885, Eiffel presented his plans to the Société des Ingénieurs Civils. Little progress was made until 1886, when Jules Grévy was re-elected as president of France and Édouard Lockroy was appointed as minister for trade. A budget for the exposition was passed and, on 1 May, Lockroy announced an alteration to the terms of the open competition being held for a centrepiece to the exposition, which made the selection of Eiffel's design a foregone conclusion, as entries had to include a study for a 300 m four-sided metal tower on the Champ de Mars..
On 12 May, a commission was set up to examine Eiffel's scheme and its rivals, which, a month decided that all the proposals except Eiffel's were either impractical or lacking in details. After some debate about the exact location of the tower, a contract was signed on 8 January 1887; this was signed by Eiffel acting in his own capacity rather than as the representative of his company, granted him 1.5 million francs toward the construction costs: less than a quarter of the estimated 6.5 million francs. Eiffel was to receive all income from the commercial exploitation of the tower during the exhibition and for the next 20 years, he established a separate company to manage the tower, putting up half the necessary capital himself. The proposed tower had been a subject of controversy, drawing criticism from those who did not believe it was feasible and those who objected on artistic grounds; these objections were an expression of a long-standing debate in France about the relationship between architecture and engineering.
It came to a head as work began at the Champ de Mars: a "Committee of Three Hundred" was formed, led by the prominent architect Charles Garnier and including some of the most important figures of the arts, such as Adolphe Bouguereau, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Gounod and Jules Massenet. A petition called "Artists against the Eiffel Tower" was sent to the Minister of Works and Commissioner for the Exposition, Charles Alphand, it was published by Le Temps on 14 February 1887: We, painters, sculptors and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Count of Mirabeau was a leader of the early stages of the French Revolution. A noble, he was involved in numerous scandals before the start of the Revolution in 1789 that had left his reputation in ruins. Nonetheless, he rose to the top of the French political hierarchy in the years 1789–1791 and acquired the reputation of a voice of the people. A successful orator, he was the leader of the moderate position among revolutionaries by favoring a constitutional monarchy built on the model of Great Britain; when he died he was a great national hero though support for his moderate position was slipping away. The discovery that he was in the pay of King Louis XVI and the Austrian enemies of France beginning in 1790 caused his posthumous disgrace. Historians are split on whether he was a great leader who saved the nation from the Terror, a venal demagogue lacking political or moral values, or a traitor in the pay of the enemy; the family of Riqueti, with distant origins in Italy, became wealthy through merchant trading in Marseilles.
In 1570, Jean Riqueti bought the château and seigniory of Mirabeau, which had belonged to the great Provençal family of Barras. In 1685, Honoré Riqueti obtained the title "marquis de Mirabeau", his son, Jean Antoine, grandfather of Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, served with distinction through all the campaigns of the reign of Louis XIV. At the Battle of Cassano, he suffered a neck wound so severe that he had to wear a silver stock after; because he tended to be blunt and tactless, he never rose above the rank of colonel. On retiring from the service, he married Françoise de Castellane with whom he had three sons: Victor, Jean Antoine and Louis Alexandre. Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, was the son of Victor. Honoré Mirabeau was born at Le Bignon, near Nemours, the eldest surviving son of the economist Victor de Riqueti, marquis de Mirabeau, his wife Marie-Geneviève de Vassan, he was the fifth child and second son of the couple. When he was three years old, a virulent attack of smallpox left.
This, combined with Mirabeau's resemblance to his maternal ancestors and his fondness for his mother, contributed to his father's dislike of him. At the age of five, he was sent by his father to a boarding school by the name of "Abbé Choquard." Destined for the army, at age eighteen, he entered the military school in Paris in the regiment of Berri-Cavaleria at Saints. Of this school, which had Joseph-Louis Lagrange for its professor of mathematics, there is an amusing account in the life of Gilbert Elliot, who met Mirabeau there. On leaving school in 1767, he received a commission in a cavalry regiment that his grandfather had commanded years before. Mirabeau's love affairs are well-known, owing to the celebrity of the letters to Marie Thérèse de Monnier, his "Sophie". In spite of his disfigurement, he won the heart of the lady to. On being released, the young nobleman obtained leave to accompany the French expedition to Corsica as a volunteer. During the Corsican expedition, Mirabeau contracted several more gambling debts and engaged in another scandalous love affair.
However, he proved his military genius in the Corsican expedition, conducted a thorough study of the island during his stay. The study was most factually incorrect, but his desire to learn of a country, unstudied emphasizes Mirabeau's endless curiosity and inquisitiveness into the traditions and customs of society. Mirabeau learned the value of hard work in the French army; this aspect of Mirabeau's personality contributed to his popular success in years, during the Revolution. After his return, he tried to keep on good terms with his father, in 1772 he married a rich heiress, Marie–Marquerite–Emilie de Covet, daughter of the marquis de Marignane. Emilie, 18 years old, was engaged to a much older nobleman, the Comte de Valbelle. Nonetheless, Mirabeau pursued her for several months, expecting that their marriage would benefit from the money that the couple would receive from their parents. After several months of failed attempts at being introduced to the heiress, Mirabeau bribed one of the young lady's maids to let him into her residence, where he pretended to have had a sexual encounter with Emilie.
To avoid losing face, her father saw. Mirabeau received a small allowance of 6,000 livres from his father, but never received the expected dowry from the marquis. Mirabeau, still facing financial trouble and increasing debt, could not keep up with the expensive lifestyle to which his wife was accustomed, their extravagances forced his father to send him into semi-exile in the country, where he wrote his earliest extant work, the Essai sur le despotisme; the couple had a son who died early due to the poor living conditions they were experiencing at that time. His wife asked for judicial separation in 1782, she was defended by Jean-Étienne-Marie Portalis, who became one of the editors of the Civil Code. Mirabeau lost, holding resentment against Portalis forever. Mirabeau's violent disposition led him to quarrel with a country gentleman who had insulted his sister, his exile was changed by lettre de cachet into imprisonment in the Château d'If in 1774. In 1775 he was transferred to the castle of Joux, where he was not confined, having full leave to enter the town of Pontarlier.
In a house of a friend he met Marie Thérès
Eugénie de Montijo
Doña María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox y KirkPatrick, 16th Countess of Teba, 15th Marchioness of Ardales, known as Eugénie de Montijo, was the last Empress Consort of the French as the wife of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. The last Empress of the French was born in Granada, Spain, to Don Cipriano de Palafox y Portocarrero, whose titles included 8th Count of Ablitas, 9th Count of Montijo, 15th Count of Teba, 8th Count of Fuentidueña, 14th Marquess of Ardales, 17th Marquess of Moya and 13th Marquess of la Algaba and his half-Scottish, quarter-Belgian, quarter-Spanish wife, María Manuela Enriqueta Kirkpatrick de Closbourn y de Grevigné, a daughter of the Scots-born William Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, who became United States consul to Málaga, was a wholesale wine merchant, his wife, Marie Françoise de Grevigné, daughter of Liège-born Henri, Baron de Grevigné and wife Doña Francisca Antonia de Gallegos. Eugenia's older sister, María Francisca de Sales de Palafox Portocarrero y Kirkpatrick, nicknamed "Paca", who inherited most of the family honours and was 12th Duchess of Peñaranda Grandee of Spain and 9th Countess of Montijo, title ceded to her sister, married the 15th Duke of Alba in 1849.
Until her own marriage in 1853, Eugénie variously used the titles of Countess of Teba or Countess of Montijo, but some family titles were inherited by her elder sister, through which they passed to the House of Alba. After the death of her father, Eugenia became the 9th Countess of Teba, is named as such in the Almanach de Gotha. After Eugenia's demise all titles of the Montijo family came to the Fitz-Jameses. On 18 July 1834, María Manuela and her daughters left Madrid for Paris, fleeing a cholera outbreak and the dangers of the First Carlist War; the previous day, Eugenia had witnessed a riot and murder in the square outside their residence, Casa Ariza. Eugénie de Montijo, as she became known in France, was formally educated in Paris, beginning at the fashionable, traditionalist Convent of the Sacré Cœur from 1835 to 1836. A more compatible school was the progressive Gymnase Normal, Civil et Orthosomatique, from 1836 to 1837, which appealed to her athletic side. In 1837, Eugénie and Paca attended a boarding school for girls on Royal York Crescent in Clifton, Bristol, to learn English.
Eugénie was teased as "Carrots", for her red hair, tried to run away to India, making it as far as climbing on board a ship in Bristol docks. In August 1837 they returned to school in Paris. However, much of the girls' education took place at home, under the tutelage of English governesses Miss Cole and Miss Flowers, family friends such as Prosper Mérimée and Henri Beyle. In March 1839, on the death of their father in Madrid, the girls left Paris to rejoin their mother there. In Spain, Eugénie grew up into a headstrong and physically daring young woman, devoted to horseriding and a range of other sports, she was rescued from drowning, twice attempted suicide after romantic disappointments. She was interested in politics, became devoted to the Bonapartist cause, under the influence of Eleanore Gordon, a former mistress of Louis Napoléon. Thanks to her mother's role as a lavish society hostess, Eugénie became acquainted with Isabel II and the prime minister Ramón Narváez. María Manuela was anxious to find a husband for her daughter, took her on trips to Paris again in 1849 and England in 1851.
She first met Prince Louis Napoléon after he had become president of the Second Republic, with her mother, at a reception given by the "prince-president" at the Élysée Palace on 12 April 1849. Her beauty attracted Louis Napoleon, who, as was his custom, tried to seduce her, but Eugénie told him to wait for marriage. "What is the road to your heart?" Napoleon demanded to know. "Through the chapel, Sire", she answered. In a speech on 22 January 1853, Napoleon III, after having become emperor, formally announced his engagement, saying, "I have preferred a woman whom I love and respect to a woman unknown to me, with whom an alliance would have had advantages mixed with sacrifices", they were wed, on 29 January 1853, in a civil ceremony at the Tuileries, on the 30th there was a much grander religious ceremony at Notre Dame. The marriage had come after considerable activity with regard to who would make a suitable match toward titled royals and with an eye to foreign policy; the final choice was opposed in many quarters and Eugénie considered of too little social standing by some.
In the United Kingdom The Times made light of the latter concern, emphasizing that the parvenu Bonapartes were at least marrying into established Spanish nobility: "We learn with some amusement that this romantic event in the annals of the French Empire has called forth the strongest opposition, provoked the utmost irritation. The Imperial family, the Council of Ministers, the lower coteries of the palace or its purlieus, all affect to regard this marriage as an amazing humiliation..."Eugénie found childbearing extraordinarily difficult. An initial miscarriage in 1853, after a three-month pregnancy and soured her. On 16 March 1856, after a two-day labor that endangered mother and child and from which Eugénie made a slow recovery, the empress gave birth to an only son, Napoléon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte, styled Prince Impérial. After marriage, it didn't take long for her husband to str
Georges-Eugène Haussmann known as Baron Haussmann, was a prefect of the Seine Department of France chosen by Emperor Napoleon III to carry out a massive urban renewal program of new boulevards and public works in Paris, referred to as Haussmann's renovation of Paris. Critics forced his resignation for extravagance, but his vision of the city still dominates central Paris. Haussmann was born in Paris on 27 March 1809, at 53 rue du Faubourg-du-Roule, in Beaujon, the son of Nicolas-Valentin Haussmann and of Ève-Marie-Henriette-Caroline Dentzel, both of German families, the daughter of a general and a deputy of the French National Convention: Georges Frédéric Dentzel, a baron of Napoleon's First Empire, he was the grandson of Nicolas Haussmann, a deputy of the Legislative Assembly and National Convention, an administrator of the Department of Seine-et-Oise and a commissioner to the army. He began his schooling at the Collège Henri-IV and at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, began to study law. At the same time, he studied music as a student at the Paris Conservatory, as he was a talented musician.
He was married on 17 October 1838 in Bordeaux to Octavie de Laharpe. They had two daughters: Henriette, who married the banker Camille Dollfus in 1860, Valentine, who married Vicomte Maurice Pernéty, the chief of staff of his department, in 1865. Valentine divorced Pernéty in 1891, she married Georges Renouard. On 21 May 1831, Haussmann began his career in public administration. Following that post, he became deputy prefect of the Lot-et-Garonne Department at Nérac on 9 October 1832, he became the prefect of the Var Department at Draguignan on 24 January 1849 and prefect of the Yonne Department on 15 May 1850. Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, became the first elected president of France in 1848. In 1850, he started an ambitious project to connect the Louvre to the Hotel de Ville in Paris by extending the Rue de Rivoli and create a new park, the Bois de Boulogne, on the outskirts of the city, but he was exasperated by the slow progress made by the incumbent prefect of the Seine, Jean-Jacques Berger.
Louis-Napoleon was popular, but he was blocked from running for re-election by the constitution of the Second French Republic. While he had a majority of the votes in the legislature at his disposal, he did not have the two-thirds majority needed to change the constitution. At the end of December 1851, he staged a coup d'état, in 1852 declared himself Emperor of the French under the title Napoleon III. A plebiscite in November 1852 overwhelmingly approved Napoleon's assumption of the throne, he soon began searching for a new prefect of the Seine to carry out his Paris reconstruction program; the emperor's minister of the interior, Victor de Persigny, interviewed the prefects of Rouen, Lyon and Bordeaux for the Paris post. In his memoirs, he described his interview with Haussmann: "It was Monsieur Haussmann who impressed me the most, it was a strange thing, but it was less his talents and his remarkable intelligence that appealed to me, but the defects in his character. I had in front of me one of the most extraordinary men of our time.
This audacious man wasn't afraid to show who he was.... He told me all of his accomplishments during his administrative career. I wasn't at all displeased.... It seemed to me that he was the man I needed to fight against the ideas and prejudices of a whole school of economics, against devious people and skeptics coming from the Stock Market, against those who were not scrupulous about their methods. Whereas a gentleman of the most elevated spirit, with the most straight and noble character, would fail, this vigorous athlete... full of audacity and skill, capable of opposing expedients with better expedients, traps with more clever traps, would succeed. I told him about the Paris works and offered to put him in charge." Persigny sent him to Napoleon III with the recommendation that he was the man needed to carry out his renewal plans for Paris. Napoleon made him prefect of the Seine on 22 June 1853, on 29 June, the emperor gave him the mission of making the city healthier, less congested and grander.
Haussmann held this post until 1870. Napoleon III and Haussmann launched a series of enormous public works projects in Paris, hiring tens of thousands of workers to improve the sanitation, water supply and traffic circulation of the city. Napoleon III installed a huge map of Paris in his office, marked with coloured lines where he wanted new boulevards to be, he and Haussmann met every day to discuss the projects and overcome the enormous obstacles and opposition they faced as they built the new Paris. The population of Paris had doubled with no increase in its area. To accommodate the growing population and those who would be forced from the centre by the new boulevards and squares Napoleon III planned to build, he issued a decree annexing eleven surrounding communes, increasing the number of arrondissements from twelve to twenty, which enlarged the city to its modern boundaries. For the nearly two decades of Napoleon III's reign, for a decade afterwards