Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese, in Florence and Rome

14 June 2017 - 18:00

Lecture in English by Flora Fraser

Celebrated for her looks, notorious for her passions, immortalised by Antonio Canova’s statue and always deeply loyal to her brother, Pauline Bonaparte Borghese is a fascinating figure. At the turn of the 19th century she was considered to be the most beautiful woman in Europe. She shocked the continent with the boldness of her love affairs, her opulent wardrobe and jewels and, most famously, her decision to pose nearly naked for Canova’s sculpture, which has been replicated in countless ways through the years. The Italian translation of Flora Fraser’s biography, La Venere dell’impero, is published by Mondadori.


The Cultural Programme is open to members of the British Institute of Florence. Membership options range from 24 hours to Life. For membership see here.

The 2017 summer season is made possible by a generous donation from Maria Manetti Shrem.