Themes and structuring articles of axis 7

This is an English version of the article posted some time ago which described the themes and structuring articles defined by the members of Axis 7 of the Labex EHNE, but it has been updated with the changes recently made to the list of structuring articles proposed for the online encyclopedia. This thematic, online encyclopedia is of  course one of the main objective of the project EHNE, and will represent the culmination of the scientific work and research led by the seven axes of the Labex. This work will materialise through the organisation of a number of activities, symposiums, workshops, or seminars, but, in the end, the encyclopedia articles will form the evidence of the work of the Labex members and numerous contributors.

Thus after defining the main themes establishing the approach research would follow within each axis, the axes’ teams came up with around ten articles, the so-called ‘stucturing’ articles, half of which are to be published at the launch of the encyclopedia in January 2015. They will be between 3500 and 5000 words long, and their role will be to define topics, key questions and historiographical debates, in a synthetic and conceptualising manner. Around these articles will gravitate a network of secondary articles, factual and detailed, which will allow to visitors who would be so inclined to delve into a more advanced reflection on a well defined topic.

Three main themes have been defined within axis 7: Geography, Historiography and Heritage. Within the scope of these themes ten structuring notices will tackle questions and aspects of European art history within the scope of the Labex EHNE:


This theme will look into the geographies of artistic production and exchange, and the impact of geopolitical context on art history. The articles will address the way the artist approaches the European territory, inserting or instead disconnecting himself from some of its centres. They will look into the phenomenon of attraction of regional or urban centres, as well as into that of rejection and abandonment of other territories, in particular rural. They will bring about a reflection on the foundation of the identity of an artist within a Europe with moving borders and about the spatial dimension of sedentary or nomadic artistic ‘societies’.

Four structuring notices have been defined. Around the first one, ‘artistic geography’, secondary notices will present works about artistic commission and the art market, and the question of civic artists and court artists, with a symposium organized by Philippe Lorentz “Civic Artists and Court Artists (1350-1650). Case Studies and Conceptual Ideas about the Status, Tasks and the Working Conditions of Artists and Artisans”, which will take place from the 19th to the 21st June 2014 at the Centre Chastel. The second notice, ‘artists’ migrations’ will deal with the emigrations and movements of artists and its consequences on artistic production. The issue of exile will also be addressed, with for example the emigration of artists after the revocation of Edict of Nantes or that of the Jansenist artists in the 18th century. Another notice will deal with the circulation of artistic models, material and immaterial ones, and finally the notice ‘architectural Europe’ will be based on the project The Europeans: these architects that have designed Europe (1450-1950), a book dedicated to ‘European’ architects: those who, born and educated in a culture, carrying the legacy of one or several national traditions, have worked within one or others of these traditions, bringing new elements to it.


This theme focuses on a reflection about the auto-representation of Europe. It is about two main supports used in the course of that creation: the image that ‘talks’ and the speech around the image. The two are closely linked. The first one, of an iconic type – allegory, emblem, map, symbolic object – translates the speech, or uses it directly. Inversely, the second ‘orchestrates’ the image, linking it to a certain type of language: national, European or universal.

Three structuring notices will make up this theme. The first one, ‘Iconography of Europe from the 15th to the 20th century’ will include analysis of European maps, allegorical representations of Europe, or of the emblematic objects within the representations of Europe: comparisons with other continents will be established to get out of the internal European debate. The second structuring notice, ‘the exhibitions as a support of the diffusion of knowledge’, will be the theme of a symposium in 2015. Finally the third structuring notice will tackle the question of ‘the making of nationalist language in art history’. This section will be partly based on the results of two study days to be organized by PhD students of the Centre Chastel, following a call for themes. The first of these study days is currently being organised, and is entitled ‘Art critique and nationalism, French looks on European art in the 19th century’.


Finally the third theme of axis 7 will tackle questions relating to the European artistic heritage in a broad sense. First, a structuring notice will present the art libraries in Europe’. Secondary notices on the library of Peter the Great will for example take place in this section, based on a collective publication co-financed by the Labex: Arts and Sciences of Europe in the library of Peter the Great, prepared under the scientific direction of Olga Medvekova (Centre André Chastel – CNRS). Around the second structuring notice ‘Museums and artistic institutions’, secondary notices will discuss the increasing awareness of the need for heritage protection, and the emergence of the institutions dealing with heritage conservation and protection in Europe. Finally a notice about ‘Monumental heritage’ will tackle the question of the place of architectural remains in the construction of modern and contemporary European landscapes, and of the conservation policies of European countries, notably around the development of tourism.

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