The Bourrienne Hotel and the “Marvelous Madame Hamelin”

Started on the eve of the Revolution, but not completed until 1793, the Bourrienne Hotel was built in the then working-class Poissonnière neighborhood. And yet, it was inside of these walls that Fortunée Hamelin, daughter of rich colonists from Saint-Domingue, held her salon during the Directory (1795-1799). A friend of Joséphine de Beauharnais, she welcomed the best and brightest from society during this time: a bourgeoisie that was eager to forget the Revolution, as well as show its opulence, as its interior décor demonstrates. Fortunée Hamelin was nicknamed “Marvelous Madame Hamelin,” which was how women of the Directory were called, some of whom displayed not only their wealth, but their desire for independence as well. In 1798, Louis-Antoine Fauvelet de Bourienne, Napoléon Bonaparte’s personal secretary, bought the mansion.

Follow us on Facebook