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2 June – 7 October 2012
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Art of Revolution & Empire

The predominant artistic style in France toward the end of the eighteenth century was Neoclassicism... Read more

Consular & Empire Style

The Consular period in France began after a series of military disasters and insurrections led to a breakdown of faith in the
... Read more

Directoire Style

The Directoire or Directory style takes its name from the period 1795–1799 when France was ruled by a government of Directors... Read more

Decorative Arts

In an attempt to wage economic war with England, Napoleon banned trade between England and French territories... Read more

Jacques-Louis David

Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) gained prominence as a history painter in the Royal Academy prior to the events of the Revolution... Read more


Throughout the eighteenth century French designers, architects and artists employed visual emblems in their work which bore symbolic meanings... Read more


Modern techniques of propaganda had their beginnings during the Revolutionary period in France when the French public... Read more

Art & Design

Alongside its biographical trajectory of Napoleon’s life, Napoleon: Revolution to Empire is a full examination of the remarkable changes in iconography and visual expression that occurred in the fine and decorative arts in France from 1789 to 1815. The Revolutionary era saw the elegant decoration of the age of Louis XVI replaced with symbols of liberation and political commitment. The Consular style shed these Revolutionary symbols, adopting a taste for more lavish classical ornament. The Empire style, recognised as beginning with Napoleon’s proclamation of himself as Emperor in mid 1804, continued to combine references drawn from the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome with newly fashionable Egyptian imagery.