Indepth Arts News: |
"Dominique-Vivant Denon, the eye of Napoléon"
1999-10-23 until 2000-01-17
A multifaceted person, Dominique-Vivant de Non (1747-1825), called Vivant Denon, was one of the key
figures of the art world at the end of the Ancien Régime and during the Empire. Diderot, Voltaire,
Robespierre, Joséphine de Beauharnais, Bonaparte... all these famous people punctuated his life. Living
through many different regimes, this draftsman, engraver, and author was also a diplomat, collector,
and director general of museums, including the Napoleon Museum (today the Louvre Museum) which
was deeply marked by his tenure.
To give homage to this uncommon person, and his works, the Louvre Museum has gathered together
more than 650 works (paintings, drawings, engravings, antiquities, sculptures, medals, manuscripts)
for the first exhibition ever organized which is dedicated to him. These works come from the Louvre,
but also from private and public collections in France and in other countries (Berlin, New York,
Florence, Vienna, the Vatican…).
The exhibition is arranged both thematically and chronologically, and is presented in the museum's
three temporary exhibition spaces. The La Chapelle room (Sully wing) shows Vivant Denon as a writer,
traveler, and especially as an artist. Then the Napoléon hall presents the importance of his meetings
with Napoleon Bonaparte and the rest of his career. Finally, the Richelieu wing is used to show Vivant
Denon's collection, which was one of the most famous of his time. The exhibition continues in the rest of
the museum, by a tour where certain works are indicated with specific explanatory information. Other
events will be held to complete this presentation, such as a conference, readings, a concert, and many