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Imperial Promenade

Plate from the service service Cambacérès painted with a view of Fontainebleau castle titled Vue de l’étang de Fontainebleau et de la cour des Fontaines dans l’éloignement

Sèvres, Imperial manufactory of porcelain

Painted by Jean-François Robert. 

Hard-paste porcelain, enamels and gold

Mark: red stamp M. Imple / de Sevres

Titled in black : « Vue de l’Étang de Fontainebleau et de / la Cour des Fontaines dans l’Éloignement ».


Fontainebleau. Château de Fontainebleau, musée Napoléon Ier. Inv. F 2015.5.



On the occasion of the wedding of Princess Stéphanie de Beauharnais, celebrated on April 7, 1806, a sumptuous service of Sèvres porcelain was offered to Jean-Jacques Régis Cambacérès, Archchancellor of the Emperor Napoléon Ier a superb service painted with topographical views and fables: « pour le compte de l’Empereur à S. A. S. le prince Cambacérès, archichancelier de l’Empire, à l’occasion du mariage de la princesse Stéphanie [de Beauharnais, devenue de Bade] …

The service « Service fond pourpre, vues d’Italie, de France, fables, &a » included plates painted with topographical views and fables, and was delivered on the August 17, 1807. It was distinguished with a special pourpre ground – an imperial colour- and its gilding with bands of stylized vine and scallops suspending bell flowers and enclosing rosettes. 

Today the service is largely dispersed between private collections in North America and Europe, and a few pieces in public collection, Fontainebleau being the only French museum with a small number of pieces. 

The present plate belongs to a small group painted with topographical of notable site. It was painted by Jean-François Robert in September 1806.  He chose an unusual view of the castle, not the front view nor the famous stairs called “en Fer à cheval”. He emphasized the perspective of the étang de Fontainebleau and the cour des Fontaines with tall trees. 

On the foreground figures dressed in Premier Empire costumes are walking around: couples, a family and three soldiers from the Imperial army. An embarkment leaves the bank to boat on the pond. Here, the Imperial palace of Fontainebleau is depicted as a place of delight, serenity, visited by people from the Imperial court. 


Text translated after Christophe Beyeler, conservateur en chef du patrimoine chargé du musée Napoléon Ier, château de Fontainebleau. 

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