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Empire Splendor

French Taste in the Age of Napoleon

Marc Walter (By (photographer)), Bernard Chevallier (Text by)


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France’s Empire period, guided by the grand visions of the Emperor Napoleon, was one of the most sumptuous and creative epochs in French art, architecture, and decoration.


By 1800, Neoclassical architects Percier and Fontaine had left an indelible mark on the Imperial residences and on the palatial homes of the country’s leading families. The elegant decorative sensibility of this period reflected a nostalgia for the treasures of ancient Rome and Egypt and resulted in the creation of stunning, opulent interiors to match equally regal facades.


Empire Splendor is a gorgeous photographic odyssey through France’s most splendid Neoclassical residences, including extravagant chateaus, beautiful urban palaces, and Napoleon’s official domiciles. Renowned curator Bernard Chevallier leads a detailed, room-by-room tour through the finest Empire antechambers, bedrooms, libraries, salons, and beyond. This is a captivating visual experience for historians, decorators, and art lovers alike.

Vendome Press, 9780865651968, 224pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2008

About the Author

One of the most respected historians of First Empire France, Bernard Chevallier is the chief curator of the Musées Nationaux des Châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau. Marc Walter is a photographer and graphic designer. His recent books include Dream Palaces and Private Splendor.