Symposia and Study Days

Extramural symposia

Study day “The history of museums at source: the Louvre and its archives” at the National Archives in Pierrefitte - 24 March 2016

The French National Archives and the Musée du Louvre, with the support of LabEx Patrima, are organising the first study day devoted to sources of the Louvre’s history.
This day is part of a new dynamic in historical research and work on archival sources, instigated at the Musée du Louvre by the conservation departments, the History of the Louvre section, the Délégation aux Archives, and from now on, the Centre de recherche Dominique-Vivant Denon, which will open to the public in July 2016.
This comes a few months after the transfer of the archives of the French National Museums to the National Archives. By bringing closer together the Louvre archives, the archives of successive administrations in charge of the French National Museums and the collections already in the National Archives, this transfer will also encourage the emergence of new angles of research.
The aim in bringing these together is twofold. Through an international comparative approach, it will prompt an examination of the role of a research centre within a museum, and of the way in which a museum manages its own archives. The history of the Louvre will be evoked more specifically through a broad overview of sources available in the National Archives (relating to the palace, the museum and the collections, from the Ancien Régime to the 20th century) followed by feedback from researchers demonstrating the great richness of materials and the diversity of approaches that stem from this.
This study day is the first step in sharing ideas about new directions for research and for creating a scientific synergy at the meeting point of several professions and disciplines.

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Programme (in French)

The Champenois Symposium at Versailles: Champenois artists, writers and musicians at court during the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI, in Troyes and Saint-Julien-les-Villas - 16-18 October 2014

This interdisciplinary symposium, which will be attended by members of the Centre de Recherche, will be held at the Centre Universitaire in Troyes, at the Maison du patrimoine du Grand Troyes and at the Troyes Musée d’Art Moderne.
Under the Ancien Régime, both the northern and southern parts of the Champagne region covered an area between the l’Île-de-France and Lorraine, which was a border region at the time. Whilst maintaining its strong economic and strategic importance, this region was structurally linked to Versailles, the seat of power, not least because it was the first point of contact for Germanic or Transalpine princes and rulers making their way to the Court, or through the eminent role of Rheims, the city of coronations. To what extent did Champagne’s geopolitical proximity to the Court help it forge its own regional identity? This will be one of the questions that the project will examine.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, several prominent figures with links to Champagne pursued their artistic careers at the court of Versailles: the first ones that come to mind are, of course, François Girardon, Nicolas and Pierre Mignard and Robert Nanteuil, as well as Jean de La Fontaine. The question arises of whether they created and maintained networks, attracting their protégés and clients from Champagne to the Court. This kind of analysis requires a detailed knowledge not only of their biographies, but also of their entourage, often composed of less well-known figures. We will therefore endeavour to show to what extent coming from Champagne influenced the careers of certain artists, writers and powerful men.
The return to Champagne of these Versailles “exiles” opens up a third area of investigation. To what extent does one remain attached to one’s region? How was the relationship between the newcomers in Versailles and their region of origin structured and developed? Girardon, for example, remained very attached to Troyes, the town of his birth, donating several major works—while the Mignard brothers, Nicolas and Pierre, also from Troyes, seemed to lose interest in their home town.
A biographical approach will help evaluate the scope of the Champenois patronage at the Court of Versailles, as well as the contribution these networks made to forming a Champenois political and cultural identity.

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Programme (in French)

Publication of the proceedings in the Bulletin du Centre de recherche.


Les enjeux religieux du discours historique à l’époque moderne, Symposium at the University Erfurt in germany - 22, 23 and 24 March 2012

The Research Centre took part in this international symposium as part of its research programme “Power and History in Europe from the 15th to the 18th century: Texts, Images and Political Legitimation”.

This third symposium in the programme “Power and History” revolved around seven themes: the historiographical controversy between Church(es) and State(s) to the modern era; the Sacralisation of the Church and Desacralisation of the world - or vice-versa?; the writing of history, a historico-political strategy: genres, narrative paradigms, instrumentalisation and production of a historical “evidence”; History – Power – media: institutions and media in historiographical production, censure and diffusion; Adaptations and appropriations: circulation of knowledge, historicity and anhistoricity, subversion; the Practices of historical erudition: colligating, cataloguing, compiling, indexing, annotating, summarising, etc; the Historiography of religious minorities and dissidents/heterodoxy, attempts at historicising religious alterity. A round table on the theme of “Historicisation through the Confessional Polemic?” brought these three days to a conclusion.

For further information.

Publication of this symposium, directed by Jaime Alvar, appeared in the journal Revista de Historiografía, no. 21, XI (2/2014), Madrid, Universidad Carlos III: Instituto de Historiografía Julio Caro Baroja. Download the journal.


Political mythology and national identity, Symposium at the University Carlos III in Madrid - 5, 6 and 7 November 2009

The Research Centre took part in this international symposium as part of its research programme “Power and History in Europe from the 15th to the 18th century: Texts, Images and Political Legitimation”.

The aim of this second symposium in the “Power and History” programme was to specifically analyse how the genealogies of the ruling dynasties and nobility were constructed, from the 15th to the 18th centuries. These genealogies were often shown to go back to a very distant past, to ancient Greece and Rome. This can be understood on the one hand because of the prestige attached to the classical world, and also because of the pre-existence in the classical world of fictional genealogies, which served as useful models for establishing European dynasties.

These political mythologies, by the very nature of the protagonists, differ from state to state in the modern era. Furthermore, they differ from one another for the essential reason that a clearly differentiated genealogy can be used to justify the existence of a separate State. These imaginary constructions provide an indisputable incentive for the development of national identity, which draws upon a wide range of cultural factors.

Consult the programme (in Spanish).

Publication of this symposium, directed by Jaime Alvar and Francisco Gómez Martos, appeared in the journal Revista de Historiografía, no. 15, VIII (2/2011), Madrid, Universidad Carlos III: Instituto de Historiografía Julio Caro Baroja. Order the journal.


Funeral Ceremonies in the Royal Houses of Europe, Symposium in Madrid – 27, 28 and 29 November 2008

Part of the research programme “Dynasties, Nations, Europe, Princes’ Funerals and the Collective Memory from the 15th to the 18th century”, this symposium was organised with the Fundación Carlos de Amberes and the Casa de Velázquez. It is the second symposium in this programme. Several members of the Scientific Committee, together with the research and training coordinator of the Research Centre, took part in this symposium.

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Programme (in Spanish)

Publication of papers from this symposium in our “Aulica” collection.


The Hall of Mirrors after its Restoration: Context and Restitution, Symposium at the École du Louvre – 16 October 2008

Presentation by Béatrix Saule on Silver Furnishings in the Hall of Mirrors, the 16th of the École du Louvre Encounters.


The Death of the Prince and his Burial, Symposium in Krakow – 14-16 October 2007

This first symposium, organised as part of the research programme “Dynasties, Nations, Europe, Princes’ Funerals and the Collective Memory from the 15th to the 18th century”, took place at the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow. Several members of the Scientific Committee, together with the research and training coordinator of the Research Centre, took part in this symposium.

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Programme (in French)

Publication of papers from this symposium in our “Aulica” collection.

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