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“Dessiner pour Napoléon” (“Drawing for Napoleon”): a great exhibition in partnership between the Archives nationales and the Fondation Napoléon

As part of the “2021-Année Napoléon” celebrations, the French Archives nationales and the Fondation Napoléon are organising an exhibition of the archives of the Imperial State Secretariat.
Entitled “Drawing for Napoleon. The Masterpieces of the imperial State Secretariat”, the show is to be held from 10 March to 28 June 2021, in the Hôtel de Soubise, and presenting about a hundred drawings and plans from the State Secretariat collection. Among the dozens of dossiers delivered every day to the Emperor’s cabinet, many were accompanied by plans, drawings or maps specially made to assist the the Head of State’s decision-making. The documents include: city plans, plans for manufactories and industrial installations, territorial maps, military and civil engineering inventions, fortification projects, medals designs and uniforms. Some of these documents are signed by the greatest names in art and architecture of the time, such as the painters David and Isabey, the engraver Denon and the architects Fontaine and Valadier, to name but the most famous, and they are frequently annotated by Napoleon himself.
The restoration and online publication of these extraordinary documents was made possible bya joint appeal made by the French Archives Nationales ‘(in French) and the Fondation Napoléon in 2017-2018.

Machine aerostatique Project for an aerostatic machine, AF/IV/1955 ©AN

Archives Nationales

Updated: 1 December 2020