Artibus et Historiae no. 81 (XLI)2020, ISSN 0391-9064
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STÉPHANE LOIRE - Paintings by Veronese in the Napoleon Inventory (1810)
Between 1793 and 1815, an exceptional collection of paintings then attributed to Paolo Caliari, known as Veronese (Verona, 1528 – Venice, 1588), were hosted by the Louvre Museum. Three-quarters of them had left the museum as early as 1815, but because of their abundance, diversity of origins and subsequent fate, they form a particularly characteristic ensemble of the enormous transfers of works of art provoked in France and throughout Europe by the political upheavals of the French Revolution. The first record of the Louvre’s collections drawn up from 1810, the Inventaire Napoléon, is the only document to give their exact number, titles, dimensions and origins. Of the approximately six thousand two hundred paintings listed in this document, fifty-eight appeared under the name of Veronese, of which twenty-six came from the collection of Louis XIV and twenty-eight from seizures abroad. The Louvre Museum now holds only thirteen of them, but the analysis of their presence in this document reveals unknown aspects of Veronese’s critical fortune.