Universal Exhibition of Agricultural, Industrial and Fine Arts Products - Paris 1855

Agriculture, Industry and Fine Arts

May 15, 1855 - November 15, 1855


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Panorama

manque image

The interior of the Panorama is mainly devoted to the products of the imperial manufactures of Gobelins, Beauvais and Sèvres. On the middle platform are displayed the crown diamonds.

At the entrance, we see two cups, one made of crystal, the other of lapis, decorated with gold, silver and precious stones, exhibited by MM. Duponchel et Cie; next to them, we find samples of the new metal called aluminium, exhibited by order of the Emperor and destined for a great future. Above are the beautiful tapestries of M. Flaissier of Nîmes. M. Christofle exhibits further on some very fine samples of his galvanic silver; and next to him is a delightful little toilet, made of wood and Sèvres porcelain, by M. Fossey. After passing through a door decorated with a large Sèvres vase filled with flowers, we arrive at the Gobelins exhibition. Here we see the following paintings: Psyche presented to the assembly of the gods, after Raphael's fresco at the Farnesine, and a copy of Papety, a tapestry executed by MM. Buffet, Munier, Greliche, Besson. Margarita and Hupé; - Saint Paul and Saint Barnabas at Lystria, tapestry executed after Raphael and the Vatican tapestries, by Messrs Gilbert and Prévolet; the Miraculous Fishing, tapestry executed after Raphael and the Vatican tapestries, by M. Ed. Flament, J. Desroy and Em. Marnent; - the Body of Jesus in the Tomb, after Michelangelo Caravaggio and a copy by Brenet, by Messrs Rançon, Manigan and Laveau; Christ in the Tomb, after Philippe de Champaigne, by M. Ed. Flament; - the Virgin of the Fish, after Raphael and a reduced copy by M. H. Lucas,
the portrait of Colbert, after Claude Lefebvre, by M. Buffet; - the portrait of Lebrun, after Largillière, with symbolic frame, after M. Am. Couder, by Messrs Buffet, Al. Duruy, Durand and Bloquère; - the Confidences, after the original model of Fr. Boucher, by Messrs Hupé and Ch. Sollier; - Sylvie délivrée par Amynthe de la fureur d'un monstre, subject taken from the tragicomedy of Amynthe and Sylvie, after the model of Fr. Boucher, by Messrs Manigan and Greliche fils.

On the other side of the door are the Savonnerie carpets, among which a carpet executed for a Tuileries salon, a sofa, armchairs and hunting dogs, after Desportes. The Beauvais tapestries that follow show paintings after Desportes, Mignon, Oudry, etc., a very fine screen and beautiful furniture in the Louis XIII style and others. The carpets of M. Sallandrouze, of Marseille, finish the interior perimeter of the Panorama. On the stage, a very rich service belonging to H.M. the Emperor, and executed by Messrs Gilbert and Chrislofle, has been placed on the right hand side. The most important piece is an allegorical group. The Genius of Napoleonic France, represented by a woman dressed in broad draperies, extends her arms holding in her hands crowns which she distributes to all kinds of merit. Religion, Concord, Force and Justice are seated at her feet; two quadrigas are stretched out on two sides. The Genius of War, on the right hand
right hand, guides a chariot harnessed to 4 steeds; on the other side, Agriculture is pulled by oxen modelled on the most beautiful species of France. On the right and left are the other pieces of the service, decorated with allegorical figures. The other side of the platform contains the famous Sèvres porcelain.

Opposite the entrance is a large vase commemorating the London Exhibition, of great beauty, composed by M. Dieterle, and offered to the Queen of England. The frieze represents a procession of all the nations of the world towards the centre, occupied by three figures symbolising Abundance, Justice and Concord. At the head of the nations are, on the left, France and Belgium; after them, Austria and Prussia, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and the United States. On the right, England with her colonies leads the way, followed by Russia, China, etc. The composition of this frieze is by M. Gérôme. - The other objects in this exhibition consist of paintings on porcelain, distributed throughout this rotunda, among which are the entry of Henri IV into Paris after Gérard, and Charles I after Van Dyk (near the door through which we entered); the portraits of L. L. MM. the Emperor and Empress, on the platform; a portrait after Tintoretto, east door; Van Dyk's portrait after the one in the Louvre, etc.; vases of all sizes, bowls, tableware, tea and coffee sets, etc.; enamels on iron, very remarkable, among which the four Evangelists, of large size, at the south door; biscuit groups, etc.

The middle of the stage is occupied by the diamonds of the crown. In the showcase containing this rich collection, worth about 35 million, you can see, in the centre and at the top, the imperial crown surmounted by the famous diamond known as the Règent; this crown was made by Mr Lemonnier. Underneath, and starting with the ornament facing the southern door, the one in diamonds and rubies, then the crown of the Empress; a sword adorned with diamonds; the collar of the Legion of Honour, of the Emperor; decorations of foreign orders, adorned with diamonds, among which the garter given to His Majesty by the Queen of England. This is followed by rivers of diamonds surmounted by a very elegant diadem, also in diamonds, then a set of sapphires and diamonds, with a bodice, a bouquet and a belt. The next compartment shows a turquoise and diamond set, followed by the Empress's diamonds, including a necklace of large diamonds worth 1,800,000 fr. This necklace was given to Her Majesty by the city of Paris at her wedding. The Empress did not want to accept this rich gift, and asked the city of Paris to distribute the value of these jewels to the poor, which was done. But His Majesty the Emperor hastened to acquire them and to offer them to the Empress. The other diamond and emerald sets, and the beautiful pearls in this collection will be noticed again. The rich pearl sets that follow come from Prussia, which gave them to Napoleon I in payment of war contributions. Leaving the Panorama by the south door, we find, on the left of the exit, the old models of Sèvres, on the right, the current merchandise of this factory. We pass a beautiful Sèvres planter, filled with flowers, which decorates the middle, to reach the wide staircase leading to the annex. On this staircase are placed some of the latecomers of the Parisian clock industry.

©Promenades dans l'exposition de 1855