The Dictionnaire biographique des pensionnaires de l’Académie de France à Rome serves as a register for the artists sent to Italy by the French state from the time of Louis XIV in 1666 up until the abolition of the Prix de Rome concours in 1968. After this year, the selection of pensionnaires nonetheless continued this tradition in another form, and the Académie de France in Rome thus celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2016. This notion of continuity lies at the heart of the present study, which has been carried out over a number of years.

The dictionary was published in May 2011 by L’Échelle de Jacob in Dijon, before being made available online as part of the ARTL@S project (https://artlas.huma-num.fr). The individual entries of each pensionnaire, featuring their biographical and professional information (place of birth and death, studies, Envois de Rome [works which the pensionnaires were obliged to send to France each year], métiers, prizes and awards, etc.), can be consulted on the site. By making this information available online, ARTL@S allows specialists from different historical periods to identify and correct any oversights or errors, and to enrich the entries with further information. Links have also been established with different institutions holding primary sources and archives (archives at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts; portraits of pensionnaires at the Académie de France in Rome; Envois de Rome collected by members of the Institut national d’histoire de l’art) in order to further enrich this indispensable research tool.

This article proposes to present the first results obtained from a prosopographic, social and historical study of the population of pensionnaires of the Académie de France in Rome.


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