The Easel

“The Spectacular Second Empire 1852-1870” opens at musée d’Orsay in Paris

Napoleon III had mostly lived a life of aristocratic exile before becoming Emperor of France in 1851. His tastes lay with ornamentation and splendor, a lover of antiquities. However the modernizing economy was creating a prosperous urban middle class with a quite different outlook. Politically unpopular, Napoleon was gone within twenty years but left a legacy of artistic brilliance. Some images are in this video (1 min)