Dominique-Vivant Denon


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French savant, he accompanied the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt (1798) as leader of the learned Commission on the Sciences and Arts that was to study Ancient Egyptian buildings and architecture and herald the birth of modern Egyptology. In 1802 he published his Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Égypte pendant les campagnes du général Bonaparte (Journey in Lower and Upper Egypt during the campaigns of General Bonaparte). An accurate source-book of Ancient Egyptian architecture, it had an extraordinary impact, triggering the C19 Egyptian Revival that at first was correctly described as ‘Egyptomania’, and was a major influence on Neo-Classicism. Denon was Director-General of Museums, and was in charge of the Musée Napoléon (now the Louvre). He supervised the design and production of the Sèvres Service Égyptien (a dinner-service sumptuously decorated with Ancient Egyptian themes and motifs), one of the high points of the Egyptian Revival, and was a major influence on the Empire style and on the work of Percier and Fontaine.

J. Curl (2005);Denon (1802);Humbert (1989);Humbert (ed.), (1996);Humbert, Pantazzi, & Ziegler (1994);

Subjects: Architecture.

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