Ambition. Tragedy. Romance. The lives of Madame de Pompadour, Queen Marie-Antoinette and Empress Josephine read like the publisher’s blurb on the cover of a historical novel. Yet they were real people, and a new exhibition from France sets out to unmask that reality.

“Trois Nobles Dames de France” exhibits paintings, porcelain, furniture, jewelry and memorabilia from several collections, including those of the Musee de Malmaison, the luxurious villa where Josephine spent the last years of her life.

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