Second Empire

views updated

Second Empire. Describes characteristic styles of Bonapartist France in 1852–70 during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III, or styles influenced by them. Essentially eclectic, the Second Empire was a period of revivals, especially Baroque, Empire, François Ier, Louis Seize, Neo-Grec, and Renaissance styles. The École des Beaux-Arts encouraged Historicism, as can be seen in the Paris created by Haussmann for Napoleon III, and especially in the extensions to the Louvre, from 1853. High roofs, lucarnes, and lush ornament gave French architecture of the period an opulent flavour that was widely appreciated and copied in the USA.


Jane Turner (1996)