Denon, Dominique-Vivant, Baron

Denon, Dominique-Vivant, Baron

(dōmēnēk`-vēväN bärôN` dənôN`), 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 LouvreLouvre
, foremost French museum of art, located in Paris. The building was a royal fortress and palace built by Philip II in the late 12th cent. In 1546 Pierre Lescot was commissioned by Francis I to erect a new building on the site of the Louvre.
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 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).
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