'Fascinating and deeply rewarding … underpinned by wide research and an impressive grasp of techniques and technicalities ... a delight to read'
Adam Zamoyski, Daily Telegraph
'[A] well-written, carefully constructed, artistic gem of a book ... Saltzman can convey her knowledge with clarity as well as wisdom ... An excellent book'
Jeremy Black, The New Criterion
'Veronese’s 'Wedding Feast at Cana' - the greatest party ever put to paint - is the ripe plum at the centre of this artful, deeply-researched and sumptuous account of Napoleon’s plunder of European art. Cynthia Saltzman, much like Veronese himself, uses her story to bring to vivid life a large and colourful cast of characters, ranging from ambitious artists to plotting diplomats. We watch Veronese paint. We see Napoleon sulk. This book is a feast all its own'
Mark Stevens, co-author of 'De Kooning: An American Master' and 'Francis Bacon: Revelations'
'The fascination of Saltzman’s splendid book lies to a significant degree in her subtle contrast of the tumultuous immensity of Bonaparte’s aspirations and the serenity of Veronese’s painting … Thoroughly at ease in the Venetian Renaissance and French imperial worlds, Cynthia Saltzman tells this story with Veronesian panache'
'Expertly researched, 'Napoleon's Plunder' chronicles one of history's most incredible art appropriation campaigns, illuminating a historic figure and the complex origins of one of the greatest museums in the modern world'
'[A] fascinating and wide-ranging cultural history, at the centre of which is the fate of one of the Renaissance’s greatest paintings ... Among the most chilling pages of Saltzman’s forensic narrative is her account of the damage suffered by Veronese’s painting on its journey to Paris'
'One thing which is absolutely certain is that anybody reading this expertly researched book will be longing to go to the Louvre'
'Saltzman’s sharp eyes – for people, settings and dramatic scenery – draw us brilliantly across 250 years and most of continental Europe'
'Saltzman seamlessly interweaves multiple narratives … we encounter the ruthlessness of Napoleon’s military campaigns alongside the splendour of Venetian art, illustrating how deeply politics and aesthetics connects at this time. … [Saltzman] recounts the stories of a wide spectrum of figures – from artists to ambassadors, restorers to royalty – with rigour and wit, bringing the history to life'
'[Saltzman’s] perceptive book traces Napoleon’s systematic gathering of artistic treasures as he conquered Italy, focusing on Veronese’s masterpiece … An absorbing story of conflict and culture'
'As Saltzman explains in this compelling account of the fragility of beauty before avarice, Napoleon made a science of plunder … [a] thrilling blend of historical narrative and art criticism'
'But really, Saltzman uses Veronese’s “Feast” as a framework for an investigation of art theft as a cultural strategy. Using a mix of art, military, and intellectual history, she argues that controlling art is a powerful way to control hearts and minds… Plunder is at its best when Saltzman describes – and dissects – the philosophical and nationalistic underpinnings of France’s art kleptomania…. Plunder asks its readers to look at art museums through a combined historical-ethical lens. Many of us could use that skill in the present, too'
'Saltzman’s exhaustive research makes the painting’s fate read like an adventure story … a fascinating read'
'[An] absorbing and chilling narrative'
The Times, Art Books of the Year 2021
'A thrilling – and chilling – account of cultural despoliation'
Michael Prodger, New Statesman Books of the Year