Napoleon & Hermes


This is a Hermes scarf titled “Victoires et Scenes Militaires de la Vie de Napoleon” (“Military Victories and Scenes From Napoleon’s Life”). It was designed in 1949 by Hugo Grygkar who is credited with creating the very first scarf that Hermes produced (in 1937). Grygkar is called “the father of the Hermes scarf” and he was Hermes’ most prolific artist, producing over 100 designs. He did not sign his work. In addition to designing scarves for Hermes, Grygkar was an illustrator for Vogue and other magazines. He later became the primary designer for the Hermes fashion house.

The scarf illustrates Napoleon’s battles throughout Europe as well as his coronation in 1804 (“Le Sacre”). Ten scenes are depicted in silhouette, with Napoleon poised on a column at the center. This may have been based on the Vendome column that Napoleon had built in Paris in 1810 to celebrate one of his victories. There also are capital “N’s” in each corner of the scarf.






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