Library of a “True Connoisseur”, Charles Sauvageot (1787-1860) (The)

Arthur Henry Roberts (1819-?), Interior of Charles Sauvageot’s Study, 48 x 59 cm, 1856, Paris, Musée du Louvre.

The self-taught musician, enthusiast, and connoisseur Charles Sauvageot (1787-1860) was one of the founding fathers of the Louvre’s Department of Decorative Arts. His collection of objets d’art from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance included both European dilettanti and artists and grew from its contact with books from the collector’s library. This library was unpredictable in its outlines, consisting of both scholarly tomes and literature, in addition to an entire collection of the anecdotes, mores, and customs of the past. The library’s catalogue is an invaluable source that enables art historians to penetrate within the secret laboratory of the collector trying to revive the art of the past.