Together with his partner Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine, Charles Percier defined the style of the Napoleonic era. Reviewing an exhibit about the early 19th century architect at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery in New York, Wall Street Journal critic Barrymore Laurence Scherer compares him to a sort of proto Albert Speer. A favorite of the Napoleon and his consort Josephine, Percier transformed the idealized vision of Etienne-Louis Boullée and other neoclassicists into propagandistic stage sets for the conqueror of Europe.

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