Empire Style Influence today
Empire style objets still command a high price on the auction and antique market circuits. The Symbols of Power exhibition at the Boston MFA displays massive, monumental furniture pieces lovingly finished with gold trim. For many years in the later nineteenth cetnury and well into the twentieth century, possessors of fine Empire furniture tended to have one item in a room-as if conscious that the piece would outshine all other decoration.
In fact, the Empire Style has a powerful image of it own in keeping with the man whose patronage helped create the style. Nietta Apra and Alvar Gonzalez-Palacios, two European scholars, have written well about this aspect of political connivance. The next time you look at photos or tv clips of heads of states or existing royalty, notie the kind of furniture they have in their reception rooms and stately halls. Yep, Empire Style pieces will be in evidence. What does this say about the the rich and powerful? That their decorative taste reflects a Napoleon Complex?
Although, to be fair, they probably inherited that furniture…