(LOUVRE). ~ Explication des ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, architecture et gravure, des artistes vivans, exposés au Musée Napoléon, le 1er jour complémentaire, an XII. Paris: Imprimerie des Arts et Sciences, An XII, [ 1804]
8vo (152 × 90 mm), pp. , 119, . Stitched in original orange paste paper wrapper. A few corners inturned, wrappers with closed tear to upper cover, nearly repaired on verso with paper tape. A very good copy.
First edition of the official visitor’s guide to the Louvre salon of 1804, sold to visitors on arrival. The 1804 salon was the first in the renamed ‘Musée Napoléon’ and was filled with Napoleonic propaganda pieces. It notably included the first exhibition (number 495 in the guide) of Vanderlyn’s new painting of the murder of Jane McCrea in 1777 by a Native American warrior in the service of the British Army, made by the artist for Joel Barlow, who recounted the episode in his Vision of Columbus. The painting is now in the Wadsworth Athanaeum, Hartford, CT.
Among other works listed are: (213) Girodet’s painting of Paul and Virginie crossing the river [used in the famous 1806 Didot edition of Paul et Virginie; (225) Gros’s portrait of Napoleon Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa and (298-300) Lejuene’s battle scenes of Lodi, Thabor and Aboukir.
‘Contemporary reports indicate that these volumes were eagerly perused before any glimse of the art was ventured, and that they were subsequently clutched and consulted throughout the visit’ (Jackall, ‘The Livrets of the Salon’ in Documenting the Salon, NGA, 2016, p. 26). Documenting the Salon, p. 113.