Replay Event: Napoleon’s Plunder of Italian Art and the Birth of Le Louvre
Caroline Weber and Cynthia Saltzman joined us in conversation on June 10 to discuss the latter’s latest book, Plunder: Napoleon’s Theft of Veronese’s Feast, just published by FSG. In Plunder, Cynthia Saltzman recounts the fate of Paolo Veronese’s Wedding Feast at Cana, a vast, sublime canvas that the French, under the command of the young Napoleon Bonaparte, tore from a wall of the monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, on an island in Venice, in 1797. As Saltzman tells the larger story of Napoleon’s looting of Italian art and its role in the creation of the Louvre, she reveals the contradictions of his character: his thirst for greatness, as well as his ruthlessness in getting whatever he sought. Expertly researched and deftly told, Plunder chronicles one of the most spectacular art appropriation campaigns in history, one that sheds light on a seminal historical figure and the complex origins of one of the great museums of the world.
You can purchase a copy of Plunder in our store or online.