Commemorating the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo
2015 marks the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and what better way to honour the occasion than an exhibition celebrating this tumultuous period in Europe’s history and its associated heroes (and villains!)
WATERLOO: LIFE & TIMES features fans and fan leaves designed to commemorate significant military battles and victories associated with the period leading up to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, at which the French were finally defeated by the Allied armies after a prolonged period of fighting. The exhibition includes fans printed with portraits of heroic figures like Nelson and Wellington and fan leaves printed in England but destined for Spain, such as those celebrating the accession to the throne of Ferdinand VII.
Away from the ‘battle action’ the social scene at this time revolved around glittering balls and assemblies – events at which ladies carried elegant fans richly decorated with sequins and delicately painted with classically themed vignettes; visitors can expect to see a glittering array of such styles dating c. 1800 – 1820. Interweaving historical narratives with fashion and decorative art objects, the exhibition offers a unique perspective on a period often overlooked in popular fan historiographies.