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(b Givry, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, Jan 4, 1747; d Paris, April 28, 1825).

French museum director, writer, graphic artist, collector, archaeologist and diplomat. He was the son of a provincial aristocrat. He went to Paris to further his law studies c. 1765 but entered the studio of Noël Hallé. He became Gentleman-in-Ordinary to Louis XV and was appointed keeper of the collection of engraved gems and medals that Mme de Pompadour had left to the King. In 1772 he entered the diplomatic service as attaché to the French embassy at St Petersburg, he was subsequently posted to Stockholm, Geneva (where his disrespectful engraving Repast at Ferney, of 4 July 1775, angered Voltaire) and, from spring 1776, Naples. There he became acquainted with Sir William Hamilton, the British ambassador, and made many drawings of his future wife Emma. Denon began to acquire a diverse collection of paintings and engravings as well as antiquities from excavations at Nola, Catania, Agrigento, Pompeii and Herculaneum. He purchased the painting of the ...

Article

J. M. Rogers

(b Southampton, 1704; d Charleville, nr Tullamore, Ireland, Sept 1765).

English traveller, churchman and antiquarian. He was educated at Highclere Rectory and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he matriculated on 13 July 1720. His major journey, which resulted in his Description of the East, began in Alexandria in 1737 and took in Egypt (where he was the first modern visitor to describe the Valley of the Kings and copy the Greek and Latin inscriptions on the Colossi of Memnon), Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Cyprus, Crete, Greece and Italy, returning to England in 1742. From 1750 he also toured England, Scotland and Ireland. While the text of his Description of the East is largely of antiquarian interest, in the sense that its aim was to confirm the veracity of the Scriptures and of the geographers of antiquity and that it was not otherwise concerned with the chronology of the monuments, the plates are a valuable document not merely for Egyptology and Classical archaeology but also for the architecture of Islam and the crusaders. His drawings of Pharaonic columns, capitals, cornices and entablatures also brought a novel corpus of ornament to contemporary architectural decoration. After his death his collection of Greek, Roman and English coins and medals, ancient jewellery, statues, urns and mummies was dispersed....