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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Mayer Frères
French, active 1860–1870 Louis Pierson
French, active 1860–1870

Victor Empress Eugénie

Albumen print, about 1858
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Howard Bond, 1991.36

As the wife of Napoleon III, Eugénie de Montijo (1826–1920) was the last Empress of the French from 1853 to 1871. Born Eugénie María de Montijo de Guzmán in Granada, Spain, Empress Eugénie became an influential advisor to her husband. She is thought to have strongly supported the establishment of the French-sponsored kingdom of Mexico in 1861 and her opposition to a Prussian sitting on the throne of Spain contributed to the inception of the Franco-German War of 1870. The defeat of the French at the Battle of Sedan in 1870 led to an uprising in Paris that forced Napoleon III, Eugénie, and their family into exile.