Travels in Lower and Upper Egypt, during the Campaigns of general Bonaparte. In Two Volumes. Translated from the last corrected and augmented Edition of the Author; accompanied by the whole of the original Atlas, comprising One Hundred and Forty Copper-Plate prints on large Atlas paper; and forming altogether the only genuine and authentic Edition of The Travels of Denon. 2 Vols. + Atlas. (Planches du Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Egypte).

London, Taylor and Co., 1804. - Atlas: (Paris, Didot, 1802).

4to (30x24 cm.) and folio (54x42 cm.). Two contemporary half calf. Gilt spines and titlelabels with gilt lettering. Spines a bit rubbed. XVI,198,(2);(2),131,(8) pp. Wide-margined. A few scattered brownspots. Atlas-volume, bound in contemporary half calf with wear to spine and spine-end as well as corners, is complete and contains 143 engraved plates (numb. 1-141 + 20bis a. 54bis), some large and folded. The plates with views, antiquities, architecture, maps etc. etc. A few scattered brownspots, some plates with faint marginal dampstaining.

Scarce first complete work in English of Denon's magnificent travel to Egypt, accompanied by the original French atlas of 1802 - not to be confused with the English translation of 1802, which reduced the plates to 60 instead of 140. "The object, therefore, of the present translation is to amend this defect (i.e. the reduction of the plates), and supply the reader with these celebrated Travels as they were published by M. Denon himself, consisting of one hundred and forty Copper-plate Prints (the fac-similes of his own original designs), with the different notes and illustrations, - and corrected from the last French edition, in which many improvements have been made." (The translator's advertisement).

"Dominique-Vivant Denon was a lover of the Empress Josephine, a compulsive collector, the first director of the Louvre museum and Bonaparte's adviser on artistic matters. Indeed, Denon was known as 'Napoleon's eye'. But the man who impressed the emperor with his courteous manners and his talent for pornographic drawing was also the primary force behind revealing Egypt's civilisation to an astonished Europe.

Invited to accompany Bonaparte during the French Expedition to Egypt - a staging post in Napoleon's campaign to wrest India from the British - Denon was forcibly struck by Egypt's architecture. With often only a few minutes to record the scene before him, he would sketch under fire. On one occasion he worked for sixteen hours, while the windblown sand caused his eyelids to bleed. Upon his return to France, Denon published "Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt". His insightful and deeply humane volume became an instant bestseller. Hitherto no one had suspected that Egypt's rich and mature civilisation existed... Denon was the first to present to Europe a true and honest image of ancient Egypt and the first European traveller to spend months exploring the desert and recording the monuments he found there." (Terence M. Russel, Discovery of Egypt). 

Denon had been invited by Napoleon to join the expedition to Egypt as part of the arts and literature section of the Institut d'Égypte and thus found the opportunity of gathering the materials for this, his most important literary and artistic work. He accompanied General Desaix to Upper Egypt, and made numerous sketches of the monuments of ancient art, sometimes under the very fire of the enemy. Denon was thus the first artist to discover and draw the temples and ruins at Thebes, Esna, Edfu, and Philae. Up until that time, most of the known Egyptian antiquities were pyramids and scattered pieces of sculptures and stelae. The results of Denon's efforts were published in this truly splendid work "Journey in Lower and Upper Egypt", originally appearing in French in 1802. The work crowned his reputation both as an archaeologist and as an artist, and sparked the Egyptian Revival in architecture and decorative arts.

Order-nr.: 50432

DKK 75.000,00