Friday, 27 July 2012


We were encouraged to visit the Napoleon "Revolution to Empire" exhibition after reading this blog:
  Indeed, an impressive exhibition.  There is a great range of materials, drawn from a whole range of institutions.  They include paintings, engravings, a tapestry or two, books, furniture, weapons, clothing, gold and other jewellery, medals, porcelain and other dishes and other items, . ..the list goes on.   They're supplemented by a number of multi-media displays and music from Napoleon's coronation.   The panels contain a lot of information, not all of it directly relevant to the displays, but they do set the context.   

The exhibition covers a lot of ground, but three aspects that I found to be of  particular interest are the French explorers in this part of the world during that period (and the impact that they had on France), the  Malmaison items and of course the opulence of the Empire era.

Bust of Napoleon by Lorenzo Bartoli
Interestingly, the coverage of military issues is not consistent.  Of course, it's all about fashion, style, the arts and so on, thus the military efforts of the era are a backdrop, not the main story.  Hence, although Napoleon's Orient campaign is covered in some detail - perhaps because it ushered in a focus on things Egyptian - other military matters, such as the victory at Austerlitz, the retreat from Moscow and Waterloo are hardly mentioned.  

We noticed Barry Humphries was there while we were (after the unveiling of the gladioli).   We can only imagine what Dame Edna might have to say about Josephine's style!

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