Print, Salle éxécuté au Chateau Malmaison (Room Designed for Chateau Malmaison), plate 55, in Recueil de decorations interieures (Collection of Interior Decorations), 1801–12
This etching presents a view of the Salle du Conseil (Council chamber) at Château de Malmaison, the residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife, Joséphine, from 1799. It is published as plate 55 in Recueil de decorations intérieures (Collection of Interior Decorations) an ornament publication produced by Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine (1762–1853), Napoleon’s chief architect, and his partner, Charles Percier (1764-1838). Percier and Fontaine are credited with disseminating the Empire style during the Napoleonic era, and advising the First Consul on architecture, design, and urban planning. Percier and Fontaine’s etching offers a composite view that fuses the rendering of the military tent themed Council chamber with warlike trophies and fantastical helmet designs. Minerva clade in her armor, interlocking spears, and fasces, (rods carried by ancient Roman lictors as a symbol of justice) reinforcing the military theme. The tented interior and the war-themed decorations are reflections of the Napoleonic military moment. Percier and Fontaine claimed that this particular room was built in ten days, in order not to disrupt Bonaparte’s frequent journeys.
This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Designing with in(Tent): Percier, Fontaine, and Empire Style.
This object was
It is credited
Purchased for the Museum by the Advisory Council.
It is signed
Signed in plate, lower left: Par Percier et Fontaine.
It is inscribed
Inscribed in plate, lower right, vertically: Pl. 55.; lower center: Salle éxécuté au Chateau de Malmaison / et détails de Trophés qui la décorent.
Cite this object as
Print, Salle éxécuté au Chateau Malmaison (Room Designed for Chateau Malmaison), plate 55, in Recueil de decorations interieures (Collection of Interior Decorations), 1801–12; France; etching on cream wove paper; Purchased for the Museum by the Advisory Council; 1921-6-377-56