Adolphe Napoleon Didron - Encyclopedia




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ADOLPHE NAPOLEON DIDRON (1806-1867), French archaeologist, was born at Hautvillers, in the department of Marne, on the 13th of March 1806. At first a student of law, he began in 1830, by the advice of Victor Hugo, a study of the Christian archaeology of the middle ages. After visiting and examining the principal churches, first of Normandy, then of central and southern France, he was on his return appointed by Guizot secretary to the Historical Committee of Arts and Monuments (1835); and in the following years he delivered several courses of lectures on Christian iconography at the Bibliotheque Royale. In 1839 he visited Greece for the purpose of examining the art of the Eastern Church, both in its buildings and its manuscripts. In 1844 he originated the Annales archeologiques, a periodical devoted to his favourite subject, which he edited until his death. In 1845 he established at Paris a special archaeological library, and at the same time a manufactory of painted glass. In the same year he was admitted to the Legion of Honour. His most important work is the Iconographie chretienne, of which, however, the first portion only, Histoire de Dieu (1843), was published. It was translated into English by E. J. Millington. Among his other works may be mentioned the Manuel d'iconographic chretienne grecque et latine (1845), the Iconographie des chapiteaux du palais ducal de Venise (1857), and the Manuel des objets de bronze et d'orfevrerie (1859). He died on the 13th of November 1867.

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