Today, June 18, marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. This is a great occasion to look at the style created by French artists and designers to express the power and magnificence of their Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Known as Empire, the style represented his personal taste, which was captured in portraits by France’s leading artists: Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Robert Lefèvre, and Anne-Louis Girodet et al. Napolen took the job of entailing his regime with glory very seriously, and regularly visited French textile, porcelain, and furniture workshops to encourage their increased production for the greater glory of France. The style was neoclassical with a lot of antique forms and ornament, combined with Napoleon's imperial symbols: the bee, the letter N surrounded by a laurel wreath, stars, the eagle, and the swan, represented Empress Joséphine.
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