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Architecture and Design in an Age of Revolutions

Charles Percier: Architecture and Design in an Age of Revolutions will be the first large-scale exhibition to survey the magnificent range of projects undertaken by the French architect and interior designer from the end of the eighteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Although largely remembered for his close collaboration with Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine (1762–1853), this exhibition focuses primarily on the individual accomplishments of Charles Percier (1764–1838), whose commissions for public and private clients significantly influenced decorative arts and architecture during an extremely turbulent and rapidly changing period in French history.

Featuring nearly 150 objects from France’s principal museums and cultural institutions, as well as key works from public and private American collections, the exhibition will include Percier’s designs for furniture, porcelain, metalwork, and the large-scale drawing of the rue de Rivoli—the construction of which transformed the center of Paris. Rare drawings and spectacular examples of early nineteenth-century cabinets, candelabras, and tureens will also be displayed.  By integrating his most famous and seminal works, such as sketches for the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the interior designs for Joséphine Bonaparte’s Château de Malmaison, and the magnificent books dedicated to Roman palaces and interior decoration, the exhibition will demonstrate the diverse and extraordinary creations of an artist whose work brilliantly inaugurated nineteenth-century France and did much to illuminate a path to modernity.

Charles Percier: Architecture and Design in an Age of Revolutions will then be on view at the Château de Fontainebleau from March 18 to June 19, 2017.