Empire Splendor: French Taste in the Age of Napoleon

Author(s) : CHEVALLIER Bernard, WALTER Marc
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© The Vendome Press

 
From the publishers:
The lavish art and lifestyle of the French aristocracy, so violently interrupted by the Revolution in the late eighteenth century, was transformed with Napoleon's arrival at the dawn of the nineteenth. And once he declared himself Emperor, he never ceased in his quest to make Paris into the showcase of the civilized world. There was no member of the imperial family, no marshal of the Empire, no bourgeois gentilhomme who did not aspire to live in one of the great houses abandoned by the flight of their former owners. These nouveaux riches invented a new way of living, and they entrusted its architectural framework to such talented men as Percier, Fontaine, and Berthault. The elegant decorative sensibility of the period reflected an affinity for ancient Rome and Egypt and resulted in the creation of stunning, opulent interiors to match equally elegant façades.

Empire Splendor is a gorgeous photographic odyssey through France's most splendid Neoclassical residences, including extravagant châteaux, beautiful urban palaces, and Napoleon's official domiciles, such as the Tuileries, Malmaison, St. Cloud, Fontainebleau, and Compiègne. Bernard Chevallier leads a detailed, room-by-room tour through the finest Empire antichambers, bedrooms, libraries, salons, and beyond. Illustrated with completely new photography by renowned French photographer Marc Walter, the book takes particular care with every detail, enhancing the featured objects and places. Walter illuminates the architectural vocabulary of these sublime Empire suites, particularly the imaginatively detailed mantels, moldings, doorways, panels, and decorative metal work.

Empire Splendor is a captivating visual experience for historians, decorators, and art lovers alike.

Year of publication :
2008
Place and publisher :
New York: The Vendome Press
Number of pages :
224
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