Baron Dominique Vivant Denon (Biographical details)

Baron Dominique Vivant Denon (curator; printmaker; painter/draughtsman; French; Male; 1747 - 1825)

Also known as

Denon, Dominique Vivant; De Non, Vivant; Denon, Vivant; Vivant Denon, Dominique


Painter, draughtsman, etcher, curator and author. Worked as a diplomat in Naples (1779-85), where he learned how to engrave; travelled through Italy in 1788/89 and settled in Venice from where he was expelled in July 1793, prompting his return to Paris; in 1797/98 with Napoleon on the Egyptian campaign. In these years turned his amateur etchings into a business, and published two catalogues of his work (in 1793 and in 1803). Appointed in 1803 as (first) director of the Louvre, and put in charge of the Gobelins, Sèvres and the Monnaie; for this created a Baron. In charge of deciding the works to be removed from occupied Europe for the Louvre. Resigned in 1815 and spent his retirement in writing and organising the plates of his 'Monuments des arts du dessin', which was based on his own enormous private collection (broken-up copy in P&D, whole book in House of Commons library). Died in 1825 and his collection subsequently was sold in a series of auctions (catalogues of three are in P&D).


Correspondance, (ed. M-A Dupuy and others), 2 vols, Paris 1999
Louvre exhibition catalogue 1999
Daniela Gallo, 'Les vies de Dominique-Vivant Denon: actes du colloque organisé au Musée du Louvre', 2 vols, Paris (la Documentation française) 2001
Chu (in the Illustrated Bartsch)
Lugt 779, 780, 738 (plume)