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