Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Also called Didron aîné ; archaeologist; together with Viollet-le-Duc and Caumont, one of the principal revivers of Christian art in France ; b. 13 March, 1806, at Hautvillers, near Reims, where his father was a collector of taxes, d. at Paris, 13 November, 1867.

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. The reading of Victor Hugo's "Notre Dame de Paris" gave him a taste for the study of the antiquities of the Middle Ages. Having been admitted to the circle of the poet in 1829, he there formed the plan of a tour in Normandy, a province noted above all others for its historical buildings. His reading of the legends of the saints, his knowledge of Scripture, and certain abstract notions of theology directed the young amateur to the study of iconography. In 1835 Guizot named him secretary to the committee entrusted with the publication of the unedited documents concerning the history of France. Didron published, entirely unaided, the first four volumes of the reports of the committee. In 1839 the portion concerning the iconography of the monumental monographs of the cathedral of Chartres was reserved for him. This work did not appear in complete form. In 1838 he opened a course of iconography at the Royal Library. He published (under the title of "Manuel d'Iconographie") a French version of the famous "Painters' Book of Mount Athos", discovered there by him, and wrote the "Histoire de Dieu", the first part of a more general work. His greatest work is the review known as "Annales archéologiques", in which are to be found accounts of his travels and numerous studies in iconography. For many years Didron published in the "Univers" letters on archaeology. He also founded a library of archaeological literature, and finally, in 1849, constructed a glass-manufactory, which produced some remarkable pieces of work and continued to exist after his death. He also produced some good examples of work from the goldsmiths' workshop which he had established in 1858, but which was short-lived.

His principal works are: "Bulletin arehéologique du comité des arts et monuments" (4 vols., Paris, 1840-1847); "Histoire de Dieu, iconographie des personnel divines" (Paris, 1843); "Manuel d'iconographie chrétienne, grecque et latine" (Paris, 1845); "Annales archéologiques" (Paris, 1844-81). See also "Ann. arch." (1881), XXVIII, 184.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 55:6-9
6 Seek out Yahweh while he is still to be found, call ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 1:20-24, 27
20 all in accordance with my most confident hope and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 21st, 2014 Image

St. Matthew
September 21: St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter