(b. 1757, Paris, d. 1831, Paris)

Baron Vivant Denon

Bronze, height 155 cm
Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

In many funerary monuments of the period the idea of death was rejected, and the defunct was recalled as he had been when he lived. The portrait became one of the most abiding elements of the work. One of the first life-size statues put up in a cemetery was the one made by Cartellier for Vivant Denon. Denon is portrayed in such a natural attitude, so supple and lifelike that he might seem almost to have been a visitor sketching a picturesque corner of the cemetery.

Dominique-Vivant Denon (1747-1825) was a French artist, archeologist, and diplomat. He was the friend of Jacques-Louis David, and, under Napoleon from 1804 to 1815, the director-general of the French museums.