1802 Paris FR – Exposition Publique des Produits de l’Industrie française (3rd)

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1802, Paris

Name:Exposition publique des produits de l’industrie française (3rd)
Dates:18-24 September 1802
Venue:Cour du Louvre, the Louvre’s courtyard – with tented booths and 104 porticoes around the
courtyard. A Greek statue by Lysicrates, the Lantern of Demosthenes was the centrepiece
Theme:Linking the beaux arts (fine arts) with the arts utiles (useful arts)
Exhibitors:540 exhibitors drawn from 73 départements, foreign, including British, exhibitors and visitors were welcomed.
Awards:254, the gold medallists were invited to a dinner with Napoléon
Visitors:No data
Legacy:Overseen again by Interior Minister Chaptal. His jury were all members of the recently founded Société d’Encouragement pour l’Industrie Nationale

Napoléon’s personal prestige had expanded further by 1802. His Concordat reinstated the Catholic faith as the national belief of France. In March the Treaty of Amiens agreed peace between France and Britain, the Netherlands and Spain. Peace with Turkey and the retaking of Piedmont made France even more secure. This led to ‘captured’ Italian art being brought to Paris in tiime for the exposition.

The Troisième Exposition publique des produits de l’industrie française, was held between 18-24 September again in the Cour du Louvre. The event was co-located with the annual Salon of Fine Arts held in the Louvre. Napoléon visited the events and purchased three paintings from the salon.

Sketch of 1802 visitors

The industrial exhibits were located in tented booths and porticoes around the courtyard and a copy of a Greek statue the Lantern of Demosthenes provided the centrepiece. A section of the exposition featured products produced in work-houses and charity studios for the blind, criminals and the poor.

Sketch of Cour du Louvre
during the 1802 Exposition

There were 540 exhibitors from seventy-three départements receiving 240 awards. Chaptal was not interested in brilliantly executed work or in commonplace manufactures, but instead valued products for their utility, quantity and price. For example he saw the merit in coarse pottery, if it was good and cheap.

Martin-Eloy Ligneruex (1751-1809), a marchand-mercier, was awarded the gold medal for cabinet-making. He formed a partnership with jeweller Dominique Daguerre, they represented Wedgwood in France. Opening a London shop, which exclusively distributed Sèvres porcelain, they played a key role in the furnishing and decoration of Carlton House and the Royal Pavilion of the Prince of Wales.

Ligneruex’s premises in Paris’s rue Vivienne appears to have been inundated with English tourists during the brief interlude in the Napoleonic wars from 1802-3. The piece pictured below, a rectangular ebony-veneered oak cabinet was commissioned for George IV in Paris in 1803, and became part of the Royal Collection Trust artworks at Windsor.


Award winners also included a woman engraver, Madame Joubert, for her studies of the Gallery of Florence.

The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries - Wikipedia

Napoléon invited all gold medal winners to have dinner with him and proposed that the exposition would again be run in 1803, but that year he won two stunning victories at Austerlitz and Jena. At the end of 1804 he crowned himself as emperor and as a result the next show was delayed until 1806.

Douglas Andrew Kentish Floor weaving loom
Douglas Andrew weaving loom

Based on the brief peace with Britain the Exposition welcomed British exhibitors and visitors, one notable exhibit was by Douglas Andrew, an English wool-spinning and weaving machine maker.

The prominent British Whig politician Charles James Fox (1749-1806) was the MP for Westminster, Tain Burghs and for Malmesbury. He served three short terms as Foreign Secretary for three administrations and later as Leader of the House of Commons. He was an ardent anti-slavery campaigner and declared himself a supporter of the French Revolution, considering this to be a late Continental imitation of Britain’s Glorious Revolution of 1688. He once claimed that Napoléon had surpassed … Alexander and Caesar. Fox was escorted by Minister Chaptal around the event and was surprised to see imitation cashmeres, for this was a market Britain had previously controlled. It appears as if Fox’s report of his visit first sowed the seed for a British response to these French expositions.

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