Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

The Imperial couple

The Second Empire coincided with a period of economic growth for France, with a concomitant rise in the aspirations and lifestyle of the middle classes. Keen to contemplate not only their own likenesses but also those of their social superiors, the bourgeoisie avidly collected cartes-de-visite of the Imperial family and displayed them in albums alongside images of their own friends, neighbours and relations. This blurring of the social distinctions reflected the new-found status and prosperity of the haute bourgeoisie, while simultaneously massaging their growing self-satisfaction.



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Napoleon III, Napoleon, Empress Eugenie, Empress Eugénie, Eugenie, Eugénie, Napoléon, Napoléon III, Disderi, Disdéri