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"Napoleon, The Imperial Household, Ed. Sylvain Cordier" Topic

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277 hits since 14 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Sebastian Palmer14 Jan 2019 7:17 a.m. PST

Hi folks

I just bought an amazingly sumptuous book, which is the catalogue to a travelling exhibition, entitled Napoleon, The Imperial Household. I've posted a brief illustrated review of it on one of my blogs:

The book and exhibition focus on the Court of the Emporer, in effect, and the material covers everything from art, architecture and design, commissioned by Napoleon and his entourage, to his birdcage from St. Helena.

It's both fascinating and exquisitely gorgeous, with hundreds of very crisp colourful photographic reproductions of everything from Sevres porcelain and Gobelin tapestries to design for wallpaper, portraits of various bigwigs, and pictures of paintings and palaces.

It is, quite literally, a treasure trove.

It's fascinating seeing how a post Revolutionary leader seeks to use all sorts of people and techniques to create and shore up their own dynastic 'legitimacy'.

I'm also currently reading Albert Speer's Inside The Third Reich. Speer's grandiose architectural works are pretty much all erased from history, except for some drawings, some photos of models, and one or two small bits of ruined architecture.

Even if his Empire didn't last all that much longer than the one Hitler attempted to create, Napoleon's legacy has enjoyed a much longer and more celebrated afterlife, from the many cities and town that bear his imprint in terms of civil work and architecture, to the way in which his Code Napoleon has lived on in European law.

This amazing show will tour Canada, the US, and finally arrive in France. We in 'perfidious Albion' will have to either content ourselves with this book, or make a trip further afield. I'm planning to go see the show at Musée Fontainebleau!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 8:21 a.m. PST

You say carriages get a mention. I imagine the Coronation Coach, maybe the wedding coach, surely the Malmaison landau…..but anything new on the lost Berline? The Dormeuse captured at Genappe.

Despite decades at Mdme Tussauds, there seems to be only two photographs of it! The one we all know, three quarter's view from right front and a much rarer one, right rear three quarter's view.

Sebastian Palmer14 Jan 2019 9:26 a.m. PST


Hi, I'll have to have another browse. I can only recall pictures of one carriage offhand. But I've only had a couple of glances through the book as yet. Not started reading it at all. Just enjoying the opulent visual content.

Not got the book to hand at this precise moment though. So it'll have to wait till I'm done with a few chores!

Sebastian Palmer14 Jan 2019 9:29 a.m. PST

tried to post an image in my OP, but failed… will this work:


… yay! Got it!

MaggieC70 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 4:02 p.m. PST

Lovely blog post, but how does one follow you, Seb?

Sebastian Palmer15 Jan 2019 4:18 a.m. PST


re carriages, several are depicted in contemporary artworks of the era (along with a number of the Emperor's/household's horses), but with a decided focus on his wedding carriage(s). There's also mention of his having had 40 carriages in all! Only one is shown as a photographed survivor, named 'Victory', made for his 1804 coronation.


I don't know about my relatively new WP blog ( But I also have a more mini-military blog, using Google's blooger, and that's easy enough to follow. Try looking here:


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