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Imperial spectacle

samedi 03 décembre 2016

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  • Couverture du catalogue de l'exposition du Musée d'Orsay, du livre Parigramme et du carton d'invitation
  • Visite de la reine Victoria à Paris en 1855, Eugène Lami Eugène, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon
    Visit of Queen Victoria to Paris in 1855, Eugène Lami Eugène, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) - Franck Raux
  • Théâtre du Vaudeville (Paris) : élévation de la rotonde, Auguste-Joseph Magne, Musée d'Orsay
    Théâtre du Vaudeville (Paris): rotunda elevation, Auguste-Joseph Magne, Musée d'Orsay
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée d'Orsay) - Hervé Lewandowski
  • Bal costumé au palais des Tuileries - (l'empereur Napoléon III et la comtesse de Castiglione), Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Musée d'Orsay
    Masked ball at the Tuileries Palace – (Emperor Napoleon III and the Comtesse de Castiglione), Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Musée d'Orsay
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée d'Orsay) - Hervé Lewandowski
  • Nouvel Opéra : vue perspective, Alphonse-Nicolas Crepinet, musée d'Orsay
    New Opéra: perspective view, Alphonse-Nicolas Crepinet, musée d'Orsay
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée d'Orsay) - Hervé Lewandowski
  • L'impératrice Eugénie agenouillée sur un prie-Dieu dans le salon du palais de Saint-Cloud, Gustave Le Gray, Château de Compiègne
    The Empress Eugénie kneeling on a prie-dieu, Gustave Le Gray, Château de Compiègne
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (domaine de Compiègne) - Franck Raux
  • Diadème de l'impératrice Eugénie, Alexandre-Gabriel Lemonnier, musée du Louvre
    Diadem of the Empress Eugénie, Alexandre-Gabriel Lemonnier, musée du Louvre
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre)
  • Collier en forme de plume de paon, Mellerio dits Meller, Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)
    Peacock feather necklace, Mellerio, known as Meller, Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)
    Photo © Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais - image SAAM
  • La Famille Mellerio, Maurice Denis, Musée d'Orsay
    The Mellerio Family, Maurice Denis, Musée d'Orsay
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée d'Orsay) - Hervé Lewandowski
  • Portrait du marquis et de la marquise de Miramon et de leurs enfants (détail), Jacques Joseph (dit James) Tissot, Musée d'Orsay
    Portrait of the Marquis and Marquess of Miramon and their children (detail), Jacques Joseph (dit James) Tissot, Musée d'Orsay
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée d'Orsay) - Hervé Lewandowski
  • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon et ses enfants en 1853 (détail), Gustave Courbet, Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
    Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and his children in 1853 (detail), Gustave Courbet, Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais - Agence Bulloz
  • L'impératrice Eugénie en Marie-Antoinette (détail), Franz Xaver Winterhalter, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York
    The Empress Eugénie as Marie-Antoinette (detail), Franz Xaver Winterhalter, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York
    Photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais - image of the MMA
  • La Dame à la crinoline (détail), Château de Compiègne
    La Dame à la crinoline (detail), Château de Compiègne
    Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (domaine de Compiègne) - Gérard Blot

The Photo Agency is offering a selection of images from the “Spectacular Second Empire” exhibition currently at the Musée d’Orsay. 

To celebrate 30 years, the Musée d'Orsay is taking a new look at the Second Empire, a period of splendour and economic euphoria and ostentatious spectacle. Often referred to as an “imperial celebration”, the Second Empire prized all that glittered in an unprecedented cult of appearances. At the Tuileries court, eight balls were held successively from January to May!

The Photo Agency collections demonstrate all of the opulence and artistic extravagance during the reign of Napoleon III, whether it be painting, sculpture, photography, sketches, architectural design, furniture, art objects, or jewellery and clothing.

Decorative arts reflect the melting pot of ideas at the time

Napoleon III governed with opulence and encouraged arts and industry through orders and funding. Les Tuileries, Saint-Cloud, Fontainebleau, Compiègne - the official residences of the court – were treated to restoration, modernisation and new furnishings. In its profusion and sophistication, the décor reflected the melting pot of ideas, the economic prosperity and the ostentation that defined the period. In the field of decorative arts, eclecticism was king: Napoleon III was interested in archaeology and enjoyed the Greek Revival style, while Eugénie famously preferred the style of Louis XVI.

From Haussmann’s urban planning to the architecture of performance

The Second Empire was also the era of modern Paris with the enormous construction projects of Haussmann, a seminal period for architecture and performance, with its opera halls, theatres and concert halls. When theOpéra Garnier opened in 1867, the empress asked the architect what style it represented, to which he replied: “Madam, this is the Second Empire. ”

The definitive jeweller of the Second Empire was Mellerio

Originating in Italy and founded in 1613, the Universal Exhibitions of 1855, 1862 and 1867 marked the apex of their creativity. Alongside the Imperial crown and diadem on loan from the Louvre, the Mellerio jewellery on display conveys the incredible diversity of styles worn by the Who's Who of the Imperial court.

Genre painting dominates along with landscape painting

Second Empire society is brought to life through representations of daily life – family life with its graces, meals, vigils, etc., appeared as genuine social benchmark. Gérôme, Manet, Courbet, Monet, Nadar, Tissot are just some of the artists who depicted this grand period of creativity and modernisation.

“Splendour and influence in the Second Empire. Fashion, decorative arts, architecture” on Parigramme.

Exhibition “The Spectacular Second Empire” at the Musée d'Orsay from 27 September until 15 January 2017.