Joséphine Bonaparte was the Empress of the French as the first wife of Emperor Napoleon I. She is widely known as Joséphine de Beauharnais.
Her marriage to Napoleon was her second. Her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she was imprisoned in the Carmes Prison until five days after his execution. Through her children by Beauharnais, she was the grandmother of the French emperor Napoleon III and the Brazilian empress Amélie of Leuchtenberg. Members of the royal families of Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and Norway and the grand ducal family of Luxembourg also descend from her. Because she did not bear Napoleon any children, he had their marriage annulled in 1810 and married Marie Louise of Austria. Joséphine was the recipient of numerous love letters written by Napoleon, many of which still exist.
A patron of art, Joséphine worked closely with sculptors, painters and interior decorators to establish a unique Consular and Empire style at the Château de Malmaison. She became one of the leading collectors of different forms of art of her time, such as sculpture and painting.