La Maison Bonaparte is the ancestral home of the Bonaparte family. It is located on the Rue Saint-Charles in Ajaccio on the French island of Corsica. The house was almost continuously owned by members of the family from 1682 to 1923.
Napoleon Bonaparte's great-great-grandfather Giuseppe Bonaparte first moved into the Casa Buonaparte in 1682. Originally, the house was partitioned between differ however, after Giuseppe married Maria Colonna di Bozzi, who owned a portion of the house, he purchased the remaining sections. The house was later expanded and re-decorated by Carlo Buonaparte after his marriage to Maria Letizia Ramolino. With the exception of Joseph Bonaparte, all of their children were born in the Casa Buonaparte.
Eight years after Carlo Bonaparte's death in 1785, the family came into conflict with the increasingly reactionary nationalist leader, Pasquale Paoli and was forced to flee to the French mainland. Paoli's followers looted and burned much of the Casa Buonaparte. After the arrival of Admiral Samuel Hood, British officers were also billeted there. According to legend, Hudson Lowe lived there briefly; however, it is unknown if this is true.
After the withdrawal of British troops from Corsica in 1797, the Bonaparte family returned to the Casa Buonaparte and began repairing and remodeling it with funds provided by the Directory.
When the Bonaparte family left Corsica again in 1799, they left the house in the care of Napoleon's wet nurse, Camilla Ilari. Napoleon later bequeathed the house to his mother's cousin, André Ramolino, who gave his own house to Camilla in exchange. Later, first Maria and then Joseph took possession of the house. In 1852, Joseph's daughter Zénaïde gave the Casa Buonaparte to Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie. Eugénie refurbished and expanded the house in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Napoleon's birth. She later passed the house to Prince Victor Napoleon who donated the house to the French government. In 1967, the house was made into a museum and declared a national museum.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.