Adolphe Napoleon Didron
Didron was born at Hautvillers, in the département of Marne, and began his education as a student of law. After completing his early studies at the preparatory seminaries of Meaux and Reims, he went to Paris in 1826, became there a professor of history, and devoted his leisure hours to following courses of law, medicine, etc. In 1830 he began, on 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 in 1835 appointed by Guizot secretary to the Historical Committee of Arts and Monuments; and in the following years he delivered several courses of lectures on Christian iconography at the Bibliothèque 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 archéologiques, a periodical devoted to his favorite subject, which he edited until his death. In 1845 he established at Paris a special archaeological press, and at the same time a factory of painted glass. In the same year he was admitted to the Légion d'honneur.
His most important work is the Iconographie chrétienne, of which, however, the first portion only, Histoire de Dieu, was published, in 1843. It was translated into English by E. J. Millington. Among his other works may be mentioned the Manuel d'iconographie chrétienne grecque et latine published in 1845, the Iconographie des chapiteaux du palais ducal de Venise of 1857, and the Manuel des objets de bronze et d'orfèvrerie, published in 1859.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Didron, Adolphe Napoléon". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Catholic Encyclopedia article
- Catherine Brisac & Jean-Michel Leniaud, Adolphe-Napoléon Didron ou les media au service de l'art chrétien, in Revue de l'Art, 77, 1987, p. 33-42.