Examen historique et critique des Tableaux exposés provisoirement, venant des premier & second envois de Milan, Cremone, Parme, Plaisance, Modène, Cento & Bologne, auquel on a joint le détail de tous les Monumens des Arts qui sont arrivés d’Italie. Par J.-B.-P. Lebrun, Peintre, Commissaire expert du Musée central des Arts.

vi, 82 pp. 8vo (190 x 122 mm.), attractive green antique half-calf marbled boards, spine gilt. [Paris: Desenne, An VI or 1797].

An uncommon work by the influential art dealer and advisor to the Louvre commission. Lebrun (1748-1813), the prominent Parisian art dealer, leading connoisseur of Dutch and Flemish art, and husband of the court painter Vigée Lebrun, played an outsized role in the creation of the Louvre. He was essential in the compilation of desiderata lists for the French confiscations of art in conquered territories throughout Europe. Then, once the artworks arrived in Paris, Lebrun was charged with their cataloguing and integration.

The present publication is Lebrun’s catalogue of the first group of artworks looted from Italy, then displayed at the Muséum national (the Louvre) in 1797. It begins with a lengthy Avant-Propos by the author in which he praises the revolutionary government, while clearly asserting that he deserves a significant role in shaping the new national museum. In the main section of this book, he provides colorful descriptions of each painting with lengthy discussions of attribution drawing on Lebrun’s vast experience as the pre-eminent paintings dealer in Paris. As with most French confiscations, the locations from which the works were seized are noted as well. This exhibition included the works of Raphael, Garofalo, Titian, Correggio, Schedoni, Guercino, Albani, Guido Reni, Domenichino, B. Luini, Lucas van Leyden, Veronese, etc.

Very good copy. The last two preliminary leaves are misbound at the end of the work. Engraved bookplate of Joseph Boudrie de St. Pierre on the front paste-down.

❧ C. Guichard, “Le Marché au Coeur de l’Invention Muséale?: Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun au Louvre (1792-1802),” in Revue de synthèse, no. 2011-1, p. 18.

Price: $2,750.00

Item ID: 6948