Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Napoleon's Legacy: The Rise of National Museums in Europe 1794-1830

Ellinoor Bergvelt, Debora J. Meijers, Lieske Tibbe, Elsa van Wezel

The French Revolution and the subsequent Napoleonic Wars had a major impact on European museums. Between 1794 and 1813 enormous quantities of artworks, natural specimens, scientific objects, books and manuscripts from collections in the conquered areas in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Spain were transported to Paris by the French armies. During a relatively short period of 15 years the general public had the opportunity to admire an overview of what, for the first time in history, might be labelled "European heritage", exhibited in the Louvre and the Musée d'histoire naturelle. These outstanding French museums made agreat impression on the visitors and (museum) officials from abroad but at the same time evoked criticism and strengthened the need for the countries which had been robbed of their artistic and scientifid treasures to create their own national museums.IfM Band 27

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