Thematic call for publication: “The representation of history in the collections of the Museum of the Palace of Versailles” (research programme)

As part of its research programme “The representation of history in the collections of the Museum of the Palace of Versailles”, the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles wishes to publish articles related to this subject on the Bulletin du Centre de recherche du château de Versailles.


Louis-Philippe’s History Galleries in Versailles, planned in 1833 and inaugurated in 1837, continued to be enriched up until the Fourth Republic. The collections contain 7,000 paintings (including 1,200 historical scenes) and 1,500 sculptures.

Dismantled in 1892, when Pierre de Nolhac became curator of the Museum of the Palace of Versailles, only certain sections of the History Galleries were open to the public during the 20th century. A major architectural and museographic refurbishment is planned to start in 2022 as part of the master plan of the Établissement public de Versailles. It is preceded by a research programme to prepare and orientate the museographic project to reorganise the collections of the History Galleries.

Research themes

Five themes will contribute to the ideas about ways in which these galleries can be made more accessible to the public. Indeed, in spite of its gaps, this collection offers strong evidence of a specific view of the history of France that the Museum of the Palace of Versailles should analyse and question today.

  • I- Prefigurations of the History Galleries of Versailles: representing the history of France]
    >  Choice and representation of the great men of the 18th century: what were the models for the History Galleries?
    >  Alexandre Lenoir and the Museum of French Monuments
    >  The representation of national history before the museum (processes of representation, major commissions for the Louvre Museum, interest in national history in the 18th century, etc.)
  • II. A museum in a residence: presentation strategies
    >  Versailles, a predestined site
    >  Museographic stances: which collections for which spaces?
    >  Visiting the History Galleries, from Louis-Philippe to the present day
    >  Contemporary reinventions: the rearrangement of the History Galleries after the Second Empire
  • III. Visions of history in France and in Europe
    >  Showcasing the great collections created in the 19th century: from major municipal programmes to history museums, reflecting French inspiration in Europe
    >  From the National Portrait Gallery to the Deutsches Historisches Museum: history museums in Europe
  • IV. Current developments in the historiography and iconography of the History Galleries of Versailles
    >  The view of the Middle Ages: what remains?
    >  The place of Louis XIV: the genius loci for today, just as it was in the era of Louis-Philippe
    >  The place of the Empire in the museum: collections with Napoleonic subjects between contemporary works and retrospective works
    >  The portrait series in the 19th century
    >  History as an aid to national reconciliation
  • V. Reinventing the History Galleries of Versailles in the 21st century
    >  A talk on the history of art through the representation of history
    >  On the fringes of military history: celebrating civil merit
    >  The hero, the genius and the saint: what is the place of these figures in the 21st century?
    >  History Galleries and education: from school textbooks to the collective imagination
    >  The national gesture and the audiences of today

Submission guidelines and evaluation procedures

Article proposals must be submitted to Bastien Coulon.

The articles will first be examined by the Scientific Committee of the programme, and if they are selected, they will be evaluated by two experts. A summary will be sent to the author with one of the following recommendations: unconditional acceptance, conditional acceptance, conditional rejection, outright rejection.

Authors must provide:

  • Author(s)’s name and surname, institutional affiliation, email address;
  • Complete article of about 40,000 characters (final bibliography and footnotes included), respecting the presentation standards of the Bulletin (see the “Recommendations to authors”);
  • An abbreviated curriculum vitae.

Authors with a draft article can submit their proposal in the form of an abstract of approximately 5,000 characters which will be examined by the Scientific Committee. If the proposal is accepted, the article once completed will be evaluated by two experts and the author will receive the synthesis with the final decision.

Proposals can be submitted in the following languages: French, English, German, Italian, Spanish.

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