the Napoleon convex mirror

In Mirrors by Mark Evans

The Napoleon convex mirror is a stylized star shape that started life as a mundane, mass produced frame. But the shape of the frame was beautiful! I had to fill the void in the back to provide heft and stability. The frame was then gilded which provides a reflective “back light” effect for the layers of emerald and gold Venetian glass rods. I used three variations on the color green to achieve richness and depth.

The Napoleon convex mirror is about 22.74 inches in diameter. It will be shipped to my New York City venue, KRB Designs( 212-288-2221).

For me, the best commentary about emeralds comes from this exchange between Gigi and her Aunt Alicia in the film Gigi( Aunt Alicia’s answers are in bold):

This is …a topaz?

              A topaz? Among my jewels? Are you mad?  

                It’s a yellow diamond of the first quality.

              You’ll have to go a long way to see one like it.

              This? – An emerald. How beautiful.

              Do you see that blue flame. …

                darting about in the depths of the  green light?

              Only the most beautiful emeralds…

              …contain that miracle of elusive blue.

              Who gave it to you, Aunt? –

              A king. 

              A great king? –

             No, a little one. Great kings do not give very large stones.

              Why not?

              In my opinion, it’s because they don’t feel they have to.

              Who does give the valuable jewels?


              Oh, the shy, the proud. And the social climbers. 

               They think it’s a sign of culture.

             But it doesn’t matter who gives them…

                as long as you never wear anything second-rate.

                Wait for the first-class jewels, Gigi.

                Hold on to your ideals.

Napoleon as First Council by Francois Gerard in 1803

If you don’t know anything about Napoleon Bonaparte you can find out by reading a book! Or go to Wikipedia!! Or go see Ridley Scott’s new move. Or see Abel Gance’s silent epic on Napoleon.

What I’m focusing on is the colors of Napoleon’s era, specially green. He characterized green as being like intense lightning! Green was his favorite color. The above portrait shows Napoleon wearing a green uniform.

He adored green and used it in many of his most intimate rooms, specially bedrooms. Below his his bedroom in the Chateau Fountainbleu.

Unfortunately for Napoleon, the color green may have contributed to his death of stomach cancer. His bedroom was painted in ” Scheele’s Green”, a very popular bright green that contained lethal levels of arsenic. The damp environment of the island of Saint Helena provided a perfect condition to release vapours of arsenic into the air.

A painting of a room painted in Sheele’s green by Georg Kersting, 1812