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Short Synopsis
A captivating study of Napoleon's plundering of Europe's art for the Louvre, told through the story of a Renaissance masterpiece seized from Venice.

Full Synopsis
Cynthia Saltzman's Plunder 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. Painted in 1563 during the Renaissance, the picture was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. In 1801, the Veronese went on exhibition at the Louvre, the new public art museum founded during the Revolution in the former palace of the French kings.

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—to carry forward the finest aspects of civilization—and his ruthlessness in getting whatever he sought. After Napoleon's 1815 defeat at Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington and the Allies forced the French to return many of the Louvre's plundered paintings and sculptures. Nevertheless, The Wedding Feast at Cana remains in Paris to this day, hanging directly across from the Mona Lisa.

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.

"The level of detail and visual imagery in this audiobook is stunning, and Toren delivers the entirety with a bravura that is uniquely her own. Impeccable pacing, exquisite French, and diverse accents all add depth and clarity to this captivating listen." ---AudioFile
AudioFile Bestseller


Napoleon's Theft of Veronese's Feast

Author Cynthia Saltzman

Narrated by Suzanne Toren

Publication date Jun 8, 2021

Running time 10 hrs

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