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What did Napoleon do for the Louvre

The collection of the Louvre quickly increased due to paintings and sculptures confiscated during the revolution by the clergy and nobles. In addition, revolutionary France waged war with almost the whole of Europe, and priceless works of art captured in castles and palaces of other countries came to Paris as military trophies. This was facilitated by the victorious campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte, first the general of the revolutionary army, then the first consul of the Republic and, finally, the emperor of France.

Jacques-Louis David depicted in his painting how Napoleon crowned his wife Josephine in Notre Dame
During the period of the highest power and glory of the emperor, the Louvre became known as the Museum of Napoleon. Of course, Napoleon could not help but contribute to the restructuring of the palace. Under him, the construction of another museum wing began, and the Arc de Triomphe was erected on the square between the Louvre and the Tuileries. One of the Napoleonic campaigns was especially fruitful for the Louvre. In 1798, Bonaparte, at that time still just a general, went to conquer Egypt. In July, his army, having crossed the Mediterranean Sea, landed near Alexandria …

This military expedition was not quite ordinary. In addition to soldiers and officers, the army included … 175 scientists: astronomers, mathematicians, chemists, mineralogists, historians. Bonaparte was going to conquer Egypt seriously and for a long time, and for Europeans this country was then, in fact, a huge “white spot”. Mysterious, foggy remained at that time and the past of Egypt.

For the 14th century BC. ancient Egyptians already mastered glass production
It was only known for certain that for thousands of years an ancient state existed here, from which majestic monuments remained – huge pyramids. They were incredibly old already when Egypt became one of the provinces of the Roman Empire. And over eleven centuries before Bonaparte’s campaign, the Arabs conquered the country of pyramids. The new masters did not give too much respect to the foreigners; not many of them had a chance to visit here since then. That is why so little was known about Egypt.

But Egypt did not become a French province. Bonaparte’s army was mowed by illness, hunger, unbearable heat. In August 1799, the general abandoned his thinned army and returned to Paris with a few close friends.

Scientists continued their work. Struck by the colossal size of ancient monuments – temples, pyramids, obelisks, they made detailed descriptions of them, made sketches. Of the many structures, however, only ruins remained, half-covered with desert sand.

After Napoleon’s campaign in Europe, a “fashion” began in Ancient Egypt. Interest in Egyptian antiquities intensified even more when, after years of painstaking work, the French researcher Jean-Francois Champollion managed to find the key to deciphering the mysterious Egyptian hieroglyphs.

This exhibit from the Egyptian collection of the Louvre is more than 3000 years old.
And in 1826, after Napoleonic times, Champollion founded the Department of Ancient Art of Egypt in the Louvre. His findings were supplemented by French archaeologists. From the very first years this department was very popular among visitors, and now it has become, in fact, an independent museum in the museum. Ancient Egyptian figurines, steles, papyri, jewelry, sarcophagi, dishes, household items, wall paintings, jewelry and many other exhibits telling about the architecture and art of Ancient Egypt, pharaohs, pyramids, religion, life, agriculture, music, the great river are stored here. The Nile, an archaeological site that continues on the ancient land of Egypt to this day. Now the “Egyptian” collection of the Louvre is one of the most complete in the world. It is unlikely that Napoleon could assume that this would be the main result of his Egyptian campaign …

The collection of the Louvre quickly increased due to paintings and sculptures confiscated during the revolution by the clergy and nobles. In addition, revolutionary France waged war with almost the whole of Europe, and priceless works of art captured in castles and palaces of other countries came to Paris as military trophies. This was facilitated by the victorious campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte, first the general of the revolutionary army, then the first consul of the Republic and, finally, the emperor of France.

Jacques-Louis David depicted in his painting how Napoleon crowned his wife Josephine in Notre Dame
During the period of the highest power and glory of the emperor, the Louvre became known as the Museum of Napoleon. Of course, Napoleon could not help but contribute to the restructuring of the palace. Under him, the construction of another museum wing began, and the Arc de Triomphe was erected on the square between the Louvre and the Tuileries. One of the Napoleonic campaigns was especially fruitful for the Louvre. In 1798, Bonaparte, at that time still just a general, went to conquer Egypt. In July, his army, having crossed the Mediterranean Sea, landed near Alexandria …

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