Throne of Napoleon I at the Legislative Body 1805. Carved and gilt wood, red velvet decorated with silver embroidery. Credit: Jean Tholance / Picture Library. Makers: Bernard Poyet (1742-1824), designer, François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841), cabinetmaker, Augustin-François-André Picot (1786-1868), embroiderer.

Napoleonic Style And Its Creator, Vivant Denon

Dominique Vivant, Baron Donon (1747-1825)  was a diplomat for France under Louis XV and Louis XV1.  He was appointed as the first Director of the Louvre museum by Napoleon after the Egyptian Campaign of 1798-1801 and has subsequently been described as ‘the man who made the Louvre’

Born into a noble French family, courtier, diplomat, artist, engraver, classical scholar and man of taste, Vivant Denon survived the French Revolution by courage, wit and charm.  He joined Napoleon’s Expedition to Egypt, and, by publishing his account of it affected the taste of Europe.  Moreover, as Napoleon’s chosen Art expert, Denon conceived and commissioned much of the Art which created the Napoleon style and myth which is still influential today. This lecture looks at his remarkable life and at the images which he so successfully created.

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