Denon and the Louvre

Vivant Denon Lefevre

Vivant Denon Lefevre

Thanks to Ellen at Eighteenth Century Worlds for bringing to our attention an article in the New York Review of Books on Dominique Vivant Denon. It is quite interesting in spite of a few errors (the painter Jacques-Louis David did not enjoy “an excellent standing with the Jacobins”, he was one of the foremost Jacobins himself, and the Rosetta Stone did not head for London after the second Restoration of the Bourbons in 1815, but much earlier, at the conclusion of Bonaparte’s failed Egyptian campaign.) Still a worthwhile piece in that it brings together various aspects of Denon’s legacy

Denon is, of course, the same Monsieur Denon mentioned by Madame Vigée-Lebrun in the episode of the Caroline Bonaparte portrait. A wing in the Louvre is named after him, rightly so because he was most influential in shaping the young museum.

And Denon was also a diplomat, a courtier and the author of libertine novels. A man of his times.

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