Empire

The Empire period of French decorative arts, also known as the Napoleonic era, occurred between 1804 and 1815 during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. This period was characterised by a revival of classical motifs, including the use of ancient Greek and Roman motifs, such as laurel wreaths, eagles, and sphinxes, in furniture, textiles, and other decorative arts.

During this period, the French Empire style was established, which was characterized by grandeur, luxury, and an emphasis on power and authority. Furniture and decorative objects were often made from expensive materials such as mahogany, bronze, and ormolu (gilt bronze). The designs were typically bold, with strong lines and geometric shapes, and often featured military motifs, such as eagles and swords.

Some of the most notable French Empire designers and artisans include Pierre-Philippe Thomire, who specialized in creating bronze furniture and decorative objects, and Charles Percier and Pierre-Francois-Leonard Fontaine, who were architects and interior designers known for their work on the Louvre Palace and the Arc de Triomphe.

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