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Napoleon’s Plunder and the Theft of Veronese’s Feast Reviews

Napoleon’s Plunder and the Theft of Veronese’s Feast by Cynthia Saltzman

Napoleon's Plunder and the Theft of Veronese's Feast

Cynthia Saltzman

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1 review

Imprint: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publication date: 13 May 2021
ISBN: 9780500252574

A captivating in-depth study of Napoleon's plundering of Europe's art and how it legitimized the Louvre.

4 stars out of 5
Michael Prodger
2 May 2021

"Saltzman’s forensic narrative"

Among the most chilling pages of Saltzman’s forensic narrative is her account of the damage suffered by Veronese’s painting on its journey to Paris and while hanging in exile. Holed when ripped from its original setting, rolled in a cylinder and water damaged, cut in half, patched up and retouched — the picture was another Napoleonic victim.

When the emperor fell in 1815 many of the plundered paintings were returned, but not all: the Veronese was one that remained in the Louvre — it was too delicate to be sent back, the French claimed with some effrontery. The painting now shares a gallery with the Mona Lisa but its travails aren’t over: one of the world’s great works of art suffers the daily indignity of looking out on the backs of the crowds come to gawp at Leonardo’s Florentine merchant’s wife.