Adrien de Longpérier

Adrien de Longpérier (1816-1882) was a French numismatist, archaeologist and orientalist, and head of the department of antiquities at the Louvre during the Second Empire.

© MAN/Valorie Gô

The numismatist Adrien Prévost de Longpérier was an emblematic figure of the museums of the Second Empire.

A numismatic scholar and curator of antiquities at the Louvre

A specialist in classical antiquity, Longpérier began his career at the Cabinet des médailles before being appointed curator at the Louvre in 1847, where he led the department of antiquities. It was under his leadership that the Louvre received the Campana collection. In 1854, he became a member of the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres and in 1856, a member of the Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques (CTHS). Between 1856 and 1872 he edited the Revue numismatique.

One of the founding fathers of the musée gallo-romain

When the musée de Saint-Germain was founded in 1862, Adrien de Longpérier became its head, with Claude Rossignol, who had recently been named deputy curator of the musée gallo-romain, under his command. Alongside Félicien de Saulcy, Alexandre Bertrand and Anatole de Barthélémy, he was a member of the consultative commission for the museum’s organisation, to help define the museum’s objectives. Like Verchère de Reffye, Longpérier called for a national archaeological museum with a scientific vocation.

To find out more, see Annie Caubet’s biography.