I didn't know what to expect from this exhibition and had even considered not going. What a mistake it would have been to have missed this wonderful display.
I realised that I hardly knew anything about Napoleon and can now understand why he is such a famous figure in history. As the title of the exhibition suggests the display begins with the French Revolution and documents his rise to power.
I found the beginning of the exhibition very interesting but was so surprised by the second half of the exhibition that shows the opulence of Napoleon's life when he became Emperor. I was especially surprised at how soon after the French Revolution that this occurred.
As well as the glorious paintings of the time there is a huge display of the decorative arts. Clocks, swords, dinner sets, jewellery, crowns, vases, furniture and clothing are all on display and they are jaw-droppingly ornate and beautiful.
I always find ornate decoration to be very inspiring and see inspiration for quilts and quilting designs everywhere I look.
I was surprised to see gold embroidered bees all over Napoleons red velvet cloak. He had adopted the bee as his emblem of immortality because golden bees were discovered in a tomb in 1653 and were considered to be the oldest emblem of the sovereigns of France.
This made me think of bees in a new light. I have included some bees in my quilts.
|Bee in Crazy about Spring|
|Many bees in Crazy about Spring|
|Bees in Quilting all over the World|
|Bee charm in Naturally Crazy|
The exhibition is on at the National Gallery of Victoria in St. Kilda Road, Melbourne until the 7th October 2012. So there is still plenty of time to see this wonderful display.
Bye for now,