Everyone knows that 2014 marks the centenary of the Break out of World War One, and while it is right to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, commemorating the start of a war is a rather sombre, if not macabre thing to do. Perhaps it is therefore time that we celebrated peace, because what everyone may not be aware of is that 2014 also marks the two hundredth anniversary since the Treaty of Paris after the defeat of Napoleon.
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30th May 1814, ending the war between France and the Sixth Coalition. It was the first treaty to be signed, when Napoleon was exiled to Elba. A second treaty followed in 1815 after his second defeat and abdication.
Peace Breaks Out! is an exhibition by the Soane Museum that runs until the 13th September. It displays over a hundred items from the museum's collection, including celebratory paintings, drawings of France showing architectural changes under Napoleon's rule, objects belonging to Napoleon, and satirical French depictions Englishmen visiting Paris.
An additional display called Peace Breaks Out! In the Breakfast Room features six contemporary artists, who have brought their own twenty-first century interpretation of the 1814 peace treaty, with portrayals of regency and Parisian fashion.