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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Louise Cochelet

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In addition to being an artist, Louise Cochelet was a Lady-in-Waiting, lectrice (reader), and confidant to Queen Hortense of Holland. Cochelet’s four-volume Mémoirs sur la Reine Hortense et la famille impériale detail the queen’s years of exile in Switzerland. In 1817, Cochelet bought Sandegg Castle; after her marriage to Denis-Charles Parquin (1786–1845), an officer in the entourage of the young Prince Louis-Napoleon, Hortense’s son and the future Emperor Napoleon III, they lived at Wolfsberg Castle in nearby Ermatingen. Sandegg served as a refuge for members of the Bonaparte family, and Wolfsberg became the center of a lively social circle connected with the exiled court. (JGK)