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Course Description

This informative two hour illustrated lecture will trace the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, revealing the plunder carried out by the French army or French officials under this political leader’s command in the territories of the First French Empire, including the Italian peninsula, Spain, Portugal, the Low Countries, and Central Europe.


Key concepts covered include

➣ From the Muséum central des arts de la République to the Musée Napoléon, the footprint of Napoleon’s campaign and their spoils of war on the Musée du Louvre collection.
➣ The French Revolution of 1789
➣ Italy’s successes and sometimes failures at recovering its furti napoleonici (artwork stolen in the Napoleonic age).
➣ The Invasion of Italy, the Treaty of Modena, 1796 and the Treaty of Tolentino, 1796
➣ Valland’s life risking work providing information to the French Resistance while embedded in the heart of the Nazi art theft machine.

Participants will come away with an introductory understanding of this unassuming heroine’s tireless work to save thousands of paintings and artwork during the siege of Paris.


Since 2010 Judge Arthur Tompkins, a District Court Judge in New Zealand, has taught Art Crime in War as part of the Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Heritage Protection with the Association for Research into Crimes against Art. He is the author of Plundering Beauty: A history of art crime during war (Lund Humphries, London; 2018) as well as the editor of Art Crime and Its Prevention (Lund Humphries, London 2016) and Provenance Research Today: Principles, Practice, Problems (Lund Humphries, London, 2020).

What You’ll Learn


Highlights of returned and unreturned works of art, including: The Laocoon; The Apollo Belvedere; The Four Horses; The Rosetta Stone, Wedding at Cana; and many others.


The theft of Goya’s Portrait of the Duke of Wellington


The sacking of Waulsort In 1793 by revolutionary French forces.


The decisive defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.

How People Are Reacting

I took this online course as an introduction to the topic when the COVID pandemic prevented me from attending ARCA’s PG Cert program in Italy. The course gave me an exciting baseline introduction and I look forward to taking their summer professional training program next year.

Sarah Scott

As a university student taking courses in organized crime and terrorism, I wanted to understand better how art intersects with these more well known types of criminal behaviors. Professor Tijhuis and Professor Albertson gave me an excellent overview and I look forward to seeing what other courses on the subject ARCA develops.

Luis Rodriguez