Napoleon Bonaparte reorganized the European world in many respects. 2019 will mark the 250th anniversary of his birthday, an occasion that inspired Pforzheim's Jewellery Museum to organize a special exhibition spotlighting the new kind of jewellery and fashion characteristic of the Napoleonic era. Back then, the Neoclassical »style of the Revolution« and the decorative Empire style spread all over Western Europe well into Russia. The moral concepts developed during the Enlightenment called for an aesthetic inspired by reason, which met the taste of an increasingly powerful, self-confident and educated middle class, and influenced all areas of culture – starting from architecture, painting, furniture, garments and jewellery all the way through to literature and music. The visual arts were expected to stimulate the emergence of an intellectual aristocracy to break with the tradition of hereditary aristocracy. Over the course of Napoleon's imperial reign, the Empire style unfolded its representative splendour to perfection. Including several pieces created by Chaumet, Napoleon's court jeweller, the exhibition will also be showcasing jewellery worn in his social environment.
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