Research Grants 1999


  • Natalya GOUTINA: General Gazan
    Doctoral thesis in contemporary history
    Supervisor: Jean Tulard
    Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

    General Gazan has remained to this day ‘forgotten by history’. No serious study has been written on him despite his role being worthy of a much wider audience. He was one of the great generals of the First Empire and one whose action contributed to changing the face of Europe: he fought ‘the conspiring kings’ with the Army of the Rhine; in the Vendée, he routed Charrette’s forces; he was at Zurich and at the siege of Genoa alongside Masséna. He then fought with the Grande Armée in central Europe, subsequently ending up in Spain where he stayed until the emperor’s first abdication. This brilliant, rich and extraordinary career has been unjustly negelected by historians.

    My research will be organised under nine general headings :

    • The origins (1765-1780). His studies at the renowned collège Sorèze. What factors determined his pursuing a military career.
    • The Ancien Régime (1780-1789). The development of Gazan’s political ideas at the beginning of the Revolution which drove him to join the Republican army. The political atmosphere in his regiment (coast guard gunners of Antibes) is particularly relevant.
    • The armies of the revolution (1789-1799). His military promotions to the rank of Brigadier General in April 1799 and his participation in military operations on the Rhine and in the West.
    • In the wake of Masséna. Masséna was reputed to be one of the best generals of his time. Research will concentrate on relations between the two generals and Gazan’s experiences with Masséna in the Swiss campaign and during the siege of Genoa.
    • The Italian interlude (1800-1805). A consideration of his service duties and his personal development.
    • The Grande Armée (1805-1807). The role of Gazan’s division during the campaigns, notably the battles of Durrenstein, Iena and Ostrlenka.
    • The Penisular War (1808-1814). Gazan was in Spain for six years and ended the war before the walls of Toulouse, 10 April 1814 as Chief of Staff of the Army of the Pyrenees. A detailed examination of his experiences, opinions, actions and operations in Spain.
    • The Cent-jours. Napoleon’s return was a great test of loyalty for all those who had fought with him before. It is interesting to study Ganzan’s behaviour from this point of view.
    • The Restoration (1815-1845). His activities in the House of Lords, his relations with the new court, their influence on his career, his feelings towards the regime of Louis-Philippe compared to those of other generals of the Empire.

    The sources of information for this subject are numerous, notably :

    • The Gazan Dossier in the Archives du Service Historique de l’Armée de Terre (Château de Vincennes).
    • The letters from the general to his colleagues, friends and family.
    • The dossiers on his comrades and superiors, such as Masséna, Lannes, Suchet, etc.
    • The correspondence and memoirs of the officers who fought in the same campaigns, especially those who knew Gazan personally.

    Finally the work will include a study and translation of some Russian memoirs, notably those of General Ermolov. These will provide a view from the opposing side and also to make known documents of great historical value which are unknown in France.

    Natalia Goutina has a Advanced Diploma from the Faculty of Foreign Languages at the State University of Petrozavodsk (Russia) and is preparing a doctoral thesis in modern history at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes under the supervision of Prof Jean Tulard.

  • David CHAILLOU: Politics on stage: Historical study of the oeuvres de circonstances performed at the Opéra de Paris from 1810 – 1815
    Doctoral thesis in contemporary history
    Supervisor: Jean Tulard
    Université de Paris IV

    The chosen time period corresponds with the last years of the Empire, the marriage of Napoleon to Marie-Louise of Austria (13 December 1810) and the return of Louis XVIII in 1815. On the one hand, these years were full of institutional change, and on the other they were when the Empire took full control over operatic performance in France. How far was this musical propaganda to follow the decline of the emperor, his return and his final exile ? What happens to musical propaganda when power changes hands ?The best viewpoint is the Paris Opéra, a key centre of Paris life during the Empire and the beginning of the Restoration. Any musician who desired fame had to have his music performed there. What is more, the Opéra was under the personal supervision of the emperor. ‘No opéra may be performed without my express command’, he announced in 1810 to the theatre manager. And this specific link with the opera meant that every piece performed had a political resonance and was overtly to a greater or lesser extent glorification of the party in power. The Opéra de Paris could be described as the place where history was performed on stage.In addition to the purely theatrical aspect, there was also the presence of the sovereign at the performance. Napoleon marketed his image. Every important event had its reflection on the stage of the Académie Impériale. For Marie-Louise’s first appearance at the Opéra, the programme was carefully adapted for the event. The arrivals and the departure of the emperor were prepared and accompanied with specific music which interrupted the performance. The performance had moved to the auditorium, the emperor had become the hero.The works performed were either composed in honour of specific events (for example, Le Triomphe du mois de mars ou le Berceau d’Achille, opera, allegorical tableau and music by Kreutzer was performed in honour of the birth of the King of Rome, 27 March 1811) or exalted the regime indirectly or allegorically (for example, Pelage ou le Roi de la Paix, music by Spontini, libretto by Jouy, performed on 23 August 1814 on the return of the Bourbons).Thus by offering a comparison of times past with times present, the theatre could be used as a powerful propaganda weapon.

    The regime consciously used music to influence public opinion. The rehearsal of spectacles by the directeur of the Académie under orders from the Superintendant for music thus took on great significance.

    The study of the works which were performed offers a new picture of the periods which they illustrate. The choice of themes and the reoccurence of certain elements reveal the nature of the regimes and how they wished to be seen by the public. In this respect, the themes and elements which are carefully avoided are of not insignificant importance (Spain in 1812, for example). Defeat and power are thus sublimated in the pomp and ceremony of the spectacle.

    David Chaillou has a DEA in contemporary history, gives supervisions at the university of Paris IV and is writing his thesis under the supervision of Prof Jean Tulard.


Christine DOTAL: Jean-Joseph Perraud (1819-1876) and Neoclassical sculpture during the Second Empire
Doctoral thesis in History of Art
Supervisor: Prof Paulette Choné
Université de Bourgogne in Dijon

French sculpture of the 19th century, and in particular that which developed during the Second Empire, is little known and to a certain extent even denigrated. An exhibition in 1979, entitled Art in France during the Second Empire, opened up research on the subject and revealed the hitherto unappreciated artistic phenomenon which was the Second Empire. In 1986, with the opening of the Musée d’Orsay and the Grand Palais exhibitionFrench 19th-century Sculpture, the importance of the sculpture of the period was also revealed. Other more recent exhibitions, notably that on the sculptor Préault, have shown that monographic treatments are indispensable for the understanding of the artistic currents of the time. All too often the Second Empire is lumped in with studies on 19th century art, and the art of the period is unfortunately still tarred with expressions such as ‘vulgar’, ‘Late Neoclassicism’ or worse still ‘Eclecticism’.Whilst many styles were to develop during the Second Empire, Neoclassical remained the principal aesthetic reference point for the government. The architectural programmes (The New Louvre, the Opéra, the stations, etc.) of Napoleon III provided sculptors with great opportunities. The persistence of Neoclassical in the Salons illustrates the state style and the fact that the state bought Neoclassical also ensured the style’s success. This artistic policy led both the discovery of unknown talents and the survival of much of their work.The choice of the well-known figure of Jean-Joseph Perraud (1819-1876), almost the representative of Neoclassicism for the Second Empire, was not fortuitous. His career was typical of an official artist. After his apprenticeship at Salins (Jura) and then Lyons, he was accepted at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1843 in the workshops of Ramey and Dumont. He won the first Grand Prix de Rome in 1847 and left for Rome at the end of the same year. He stayed there five years at the Académie de France when Alaux was director. On his return to France in 1852, he regularly presented work at the Salon and it was here that he won a médaille d’honneur on two separate occasions. Many of his works were bought or commissioned by the state during the Second Empire, notably l’Enfance de Bacchus and Désespoir. He took part in providing the decor for the Louvre, the Opéra, the Bibliothèque Nationale and other public buildings. In 1865 he was elected member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts as a replacement for Nanteuil.An academic and stylistic study of his works reveals the importance of the role of the state in the development of Neoclassical sculpture. It makes it possible to make a list of so-called Neoclassical artists, whether by subject or by work or by the style they used. Cavelier, Guillaume, Gumery, Elias-Robert, Thomas, Millet, and Jouffroy all benefited from many state commissions.The Neoclassical style of the Second Empire takes most of its originality from the taste of Napoleon II, but there are also other currents. It is not pastiche, either of Greco-Roman art of the art of the First Empire. Supported by the Institut, this style was to resist the other trends of Romanticism and Realism whilst avoiding the sterility of which it is so often accused.

Christiane Dotal has a maîtrise and a DEA in the History of Art. She was a consultant at the Besançon Musée des Beaux-Arts in 1996 and at the Lons-le-Saulnier Musée des Beaux-Arts in 1997.