The Napoleonic Empire style, which took its name from Napoleon I, was inspired by Ancient Egypt and imperial Rome. Signifigantly, Napoleon imposed a centralization on art to control architects. In architecture, the style was exemplified by monuments as Chalgrin’s Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. Further, in painting, by Jacques-Louis David, and in sculpture, by Antonio Canova.
The style corresponds to the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, the Federal style in the United States, and the Regency style in Britain.
If Directoire is Doric in nature, Napoleonic Empire is instead Corinthian. Napoleonic Empire Style’s interest in the architecture and decorative motifs of the Roman Empire is a key feature of this style. Additionally, chairs were made more for display. Etruscan and Egyptian motifs of Napoleonic Empire Style chairs included:
The French architects Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine designed furnishings for the estate rooms of Napoleon, and their ideas were made public in their work, “Recueil de décorations intérieures.” Altogether, the main archaeological discoveries of the Empire style led to direct copying of classical themes in furniture with an additional Egyptian ornament, likening the experiences of Napoleon in Egypt.