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Lectures on Art

Selected Conférences from the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, 1667–1772

Edited by Christian Michel and Jacqueline Lichtenstein
Translated by Chris Miller

Between 1667 and 1792, the artists and amateurs of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris lectured on the Académie’s conférences, foundational documents in the theory and practice of art. These texts and the principles they embody guided artistic practice and art theory in France and throughout Europe for two centuries.

In the 1800s, the Académie’s influence waned, and few of the 388 Académie lectures were translated into English. Eminent scholars Christian Michel and Jacqueline Lichtenstein have selected and annotated forty-two of the most representative lectures, creating the first authoritative collection of the conférences for readers of English. Essential to understanding French art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, these lectures reveal what leading French artists looked for in a painting or sculpture, the problems they sought to resolve in their works, and how they viewed their own and others’ artistic practice.

Christian Michel is a professor of art history at the Université de Lausanne, a leading scholar of artistic production in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, and the author of many essays, articles, and books. Jacqueline Lichtenstein was a philosopher and art historian specializing in the history and criticism of art and aesthetics. She taught at the University of Paris-IV-Sorbonne, the University of Paris- X Nanterre, the École du Louvre, and the University of California, Berkeley. Lichtenstein died in 2019. Chris Miller is a widely published critic and translator, cofounder of the Oxford Amnesty Lectures, and author of Forms of Transcendence: The Art of Roger Wagner (2009).

488 pages
7 x 10 inches
73 color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-646-1

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Research Institute
Series: Texts & Documents