Napoleon on the Nile: Soldiers, Artists, and the Rediscovery of Egypt, a richly illustrated, 48-page catalogue will serve as a record of the exhibition presented at the Dahesh Museum of Art from June through December 2006. It contains an essay by former Associate Curator Lisa Small, the exhibition’s organizer; 48 color reproductions of selected works from the exhibition; a complete checklist of all the works on view in the exhibition; a selected bibliography; and a brief forward by Dr. Flora E. S. Kaplan, the Museum’s Director. 48pp., 48 color illustrations.
General Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign (1798-1801) was not a military triumph. It was profoundly successful, however, as a cultural expedition, resulting in the publication of the encyclopedic Description de l’Egypte (1809-28). Containing more than eight hundred engravings, this unprecedented scholarly achievement, the work of one hundred and fifty scholars Napoleon brought to Egypt, is considered the foundational work of modern Egyptology, exhaustively portraying virtually every aspect of the country, ancient and modern. Napoleon on the Nile: Soldiers, Artists, and the Rediscovery of Egypt brings together more than eighty engravings from the Description de l’Egypte, vivid Orientalist paintings and decorative objects influenced by them, and a selection of campaign letters and documents to explore the profound legacy of the French occupation of Egypt and how the interaction between military power and scientific knowledge shaped the West’s enduring image of that country.