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Dominique-Vivant Denon, Baron

Denon, Dominique-Vivant, Baron (dōmēnēkˈ-vēväN bärôNˈ dənôNˈ) [key], 1747–1825, French artist, writer, and archaeologist. He had a brilliant career as an artist and diplomat during the ancien régime and followed Napoleon on his campaign in Egypt. In 1802 he became the director of the Louvre and two years later was named the first director-general of French museums. He was instrumental in bringing foreign masterpieces into the Louvre as the spoils of conquest. His accounts of his travels and his treatise on ancient monuments contain collections of his engravings of works of art. Denon was partly responsible for the design of the Vendôme Column, a monument to Napoleon. He was also the author of an elegant erotic novella, Point de Lendemain (1777, tr. No Tomorrow, 2003).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: European Art, 1600 to the Present: Biographies


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