The Académie de France in Rome: the Medici villa

The Académie de France in Rome: the Medici villa

  • View of the Medici villa in Rome.

    TURPIN DE CRISSE Lancelot-Théodore

  • View of the Trinity of the Mountains and the Villa Medici.

    GRANET François-Marius (1775 - 1849)

  • View of the Medici villa taken from the Bosco terrace.

    ANONYMOUS

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Title: View of the Medici villa in Rome.

Author : TURPIN DE CRISSE Lancelot-Théodore (-)

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 24.8 - Width 40.3

Technique and other indications: Drawing. Brown ink, graphite, pen.

Storage location: Louvre Museum (Paris) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - T. Le Magesite web

Picture reference: 06-520103 / MI619

View of the Medici villa in Rome.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - T. Le Mage

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Title: View of the Trinity of the Mountains and the Villa Medici.

Author : GRANET François-Marius (1775 - 1849)

Creation date : 1808

Date shown: 1808

Dimensions: Height 48.5 - Width 61.5

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas.

Storage location: Louvre Museum (Paris) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - J.-G. Berizzisite web

Picture reference: 98-012158 / RF1981-12

View of the Trinity of the Mountains and the Villa Medici.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - J.-G. Berizzi

To close

Title: View of the Medici villa taken from the Bosco terrace.

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1890

Date shown: 1890

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Storage location: Museo di Storia della Fotografia Fratelli Alinari website

Contact copyright: © Archives Alinari, Florence, Dist RMN-Grand Palais / Fratelli Alinarisite web

Picture reference: 06-528894 / MFC-F-000184-0000

View of the Medici villa taken from the Bosco terrace.

© Archives Alinari, Florence, Dist RMN-Grand Palais / Fratelli Alinari

Publication date: January 2009

Doctorate in Art History

Historical context

The Revolution was a long period of transition for the Académie de France in Rome. When the deal was concluded in May 1803, Jean-Benoît Suvée, the new director of the institution, had already been there for two years and had undertaken the work necessary for his new assignment.

The function, challenges and regulations of the restored Académie de France in Rome remain fundamentally the same as at the end of the Ancien Régime. But young artists derive as much benefit from these academic studies as from those offered by the chance of wandering in an enchanting place where the memories of Poussin and Claude Lorrain survive.

Image Analysis

The Medici Villa was built on the Pincio Hill in the 16th century, on behalf of Cardinal Ricci, by the Florentine architect Nanni di Baccio Bigio, on the site of the ancient gardens of Lucullus. After the untimely death of its owner, Cardinal Ferdinand de Medici bought the estate in 1576 with the intention of making it the showcase for his collection of art and antiques. The result is a palace designed by its architect Bartolomeo Ammannati as a museum with an antiquarium gallery within a botanical garden with fountains.

The isolation of the palace and the fortified aspect conferred on it by its high base on the city side (which can be seen in Turpin's drawing) undoubtedly constituted an asset in the eyes of a government which still keeps in mind the updates. sack by the Roman population of the palaces of the Republic in 1793 and 1798. The initial vocation of the villa also facilitates its development in academy, its interior spaces allowing to deploy a vast collection of casts of the most famous statues. The garden facade, decorated with ancient bas-reliefs collected by Ferdinand de Medici, offers an additional object of study at the same time as it establishes the status of building arts palace. The proximity of the convent of La Trinité-des-Monts, a former French institution, is also an important asset. Under the Empire, its buildings, disused since the Revolution, were annexed to the villa to set up workshops and house self-taught French artists, such as the landscaper Granet, thus forming a French artistic hub. In 1816, the convent was restored, and its church returned to worship; emanation - temporal for one, spiritual for the other - of the French monarchy, the Medici villa and the Trinité-des-Monts, two of the most famous buildings of modern Rome, make the Pincio a privileged place of representation of royal power in the capital of the Christian world.

Interpretation

If the revolutionary decade temporarily suspends the activity of the Académie de France in Rome and seems to want to jeopardize its role, it only appears in retrospect as a parenthesis in the long period of glory experienced by the institution: from the beginning of the reign of Louis XVI at the Restoration, it is inseparable from the history of artistic modernity. From David to Ingres, the Roman residence is an ardent center of emulation, a laboratory where genius crystallizes and where the student turns into a accomplished artist. From the 1820s, the ever more conservative tutelage of the Academy of Fine Arts discouraged innovative talents, who abandoned the traditional academic course and went to draw the resources of their art elsewhere than in Rome.

The decline in the influence of the Académie de France on the development of the visual arts, from the second third of the century, is offset by the fruits that the institution is harvesting in the fields of music and architecture. However, it was not until 1961 that the Medici villa regained a leading role on the international cultural and artistic scene, with the appointment by André Malraux of the painter Balthus at the head of the institution, against the advice of the Academy. the fine Arts. This date marks the beginning of a long metamorphosis. The Grand Prix de Rome was abolished following the events of May 1968. Threatened with disappearance, the institution was reformed by the decree of December 21, 1971, which established an annual independent jury responsible for recruiting boarders, reduced the length of stay and opened the Medici villa to new disciplines: art history, literature, photography and cinema, to which design and scenography will be added later. Its multidisciplinarity and its dual vocation as an artist's residence and a cultural center have re-founded the legitimacy of this centuries-old institution.

  • French Academy in Rome
  • artist workshops
  • Fine arts
  • Italy
  • patrimony
  • painters
  • Rome
  • sculpture
  • Balthus (Balthasar Kłossowski)
  • rome price
  • Malraux (André)

Bibliography

Olivier BONFAIT (dir.), Maestà di Roma, Ingres to Degas, French artists in Rome, catalog of the Villa Medici exhibition, March 8-June 29, 2003, Rome, Electa, 2003. Georges BRUNEL and Isabelle JULIA (eds.), Correspondence of directors of the Académie de France (19th century), volume I.Correspondence of Joseph Suvée (1795-1807, Rome, Société d'Histoire de l'Art française-Académie de France à Rome, 1984, 2 vol. François FOSSIER, Mehdi KORCHANE and Antoinette LE NORMAND-ROMAIN (eds.), Correspondence from the directors of the Académie de France (19th century), volume IV.Correspondence from Pierre Narcisse Guérin (1822-1828), Rome, French Art History Society-Académie de France à Rome, 2005. Anne-Martin FUGIER, The Artist's Life in the 19th Century, Paris, Audibert, 2007.

To cite this article

Mehdi KORCHANE, "The Academy of France in Rome: the Medici villa"


Video: The Medici Villa!