Barras, Paul, vicomte de

BORN 30 Jun 1755, Fox-Amfoux, Var - DIED 29 Jan 1829, Paris: Chaillot
BIRTH NAME Barras, Paul Jean François Nicolas, vicomte de
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 28, ligne 13, (R, 31))

Paul Barras came from a noble family of Provence. After he joined the regiment of Languedoc he left for French India in 1776. He survived a shipwreck and served in India until 1783. He took part in the defense of Pondicherry against the British army, but the French garison city had to surrender the city. Ater the French defenders were released he returned to France. In 1782/1783 he joined an expedition of Admiral Pierre André de Suffren.

Unemployment in France made him welcome the French Revolution and although he failed to be elected in the Legislative Assembly he became an administrator of the Var department. As a member of the National Convention for Var in 1793 he voted for the execution of Louis XVI. He was sent to Toulon to fight opponents of the Jacobins and there he met Napoleon Bonaparte for the first time. In 1794 he sided with Robespierre's opponents and in 1795 he was put in command of the troops that had to defend the National Convention. He soon became one of the five directors that governed the French Republic. Barras was a lover of Joséphine de Beauharnais and he helped to arrange her marriage to Napoleon. He nominated Napoleon to take command of the Italian army early in 1796. Under Barras corruption was everywhere, he lived lavishly and he had many mistresses and allegedly male lovers as well.

In 1799 Napoleon's coup removed him from power. Napoleon banned him from Paris to his Château de Grosbois. Later he lived in Brussels (1801-1805) and Rome and in 1810 Napoleon had him interned in Montpellier. After the fall of the Empire he was released. Possibly he stood in contact with the Bourbons before Napoleon's fall, because after the second restoration in 1815 the Bourbons didn't ban him from France like others who had voted in favour of the death of Louis XVI. However, but they kept him out of politics. He was a wealthy man and he lived in luxury in Chaillot near Paris. He died there in 1829.

Related persons
• has a connection with Beauharnais, Joséphine de
• has a connection with Napoleon I Bonaparte

26/10/1795The National Convention cancels itself and the Directory starts in France. The five members of the Directory were Barras, Carnot, Rewbell, Lareveillère en Letourneur. The Directory governed France until it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte on 10 November 1799. 
2/3/1796Napoleon is appointed Command in chief of the Army of Italy by the Directoire. The directoire was dominated by Paul Barras at that time. [Napoleon I Bonaparte]


The grave of Paul Barras at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (01 Nov 2022)


Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Paul Barras - Wikipedia

Barrella, Giovanni

Published: 03 Jun 2023
Last update: 04 Jun 2023