Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
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Dominique-Vivant Denon (1747-1825) was a member of the Commission des Sciences et Arts, and artist, writer, author, diplomat and archaeologist. Born in Chalon-sur-Saone he went to Paris to study law but preferred art and literature. After obtaining some success in these circles had gained favour with Louis XV who put him in charge of Madame de Pompadour’s collection of artefacts. He was sent to St. Petersburg as an attaché to the French Embassy

He accompanied Napoleon’s military force that went to Egypt in 1798. During his thirteen months there he worked ‘furiously in the midst of dangerous and difficult circumstances’. Denon would make archaeological sorties studying ancient artefacts. Because the official Commission publication as is often the case was dogged by delays Denon decided to go ahead on his own and publish the ‘Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Egypt’ in 1802. It sold out instantly. Indeed further French editions in quarto and duodecimo and an English translation would be issued before the year was out. It was very popular, by 1808 editions in German, Italian and Dutch had been published along with a second English translation. His work predated the official publications of the commission by seven years. They were ‘the first to reveal the richness of Egyptian art to Europe’ (Blackmer catalogue). A remarkable production when you bear in mind he was in the middle of a military campaign. Denon was appointed first director of the Louvre Museum by Napoleon following the Egyptian campaign of 1798-1801. Blackmer 471; Brunet II 599; Gay 1998; Hilmy I 172; Millard ‘French Books’ p. 147; RIBA Catalogue 841.

DENON, Dominique-Vivant

Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Egypt, pendant les Campagnes du General Bonaparte

Didot l'aine, Paris, 1802
‘THE FIRST TO REVEAL THE RICHNESS OF EGYPTIAN ART TO EUROPE’. Folio (710 x 545 mm.), two grand folio broadsheet volumes. Quarter contemporary Russia, marbled boards, worn. Uncut. Volume 1 with half-title and pp. [6], 265, liii. Volume 2 with 178 engraved plates and maps on 142 sheets, 8 double-page. Numbered to 141 (2 bis plates [54 & 120], plates 4 & 5 on one plate). Amongst the engravers are Louis-Pierre Baltard, Jacques Coigny, Denon, J. Duplessi Bertaux, Galien and Jean Baptiste Reville. Many plates with contemporary pencil notes in the margins.
Stock number: 1945


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