“Empire style” furniture and its attendant excesses reflected Napoleon’s world-conquering personality. Spoils and artifacts from Egypt, Greece and Roman served as the bases for European craftsmen and artists to create a grandiloquent and aggressive French equivalent.
Furniture during Napoleon’s era was huge in every way. Stolid, loud and bombastic, “empire style” furniture was also heavy and carried a chauvinistic tone when compared to the décor of Louis XIV and Louis XV. Metal gilt replaced wood. Gold was the new standard.