Research Grants 2000


  • David CHANTERANNE: Frédéric Masson (1847-1923). A life of Bonapartism in the service of Napoleon
    Doctoral thesis
    Supervisor: Jean Tulard
    Université de Paris IV

    Frédéric Masson (1847-1923) was an important figure of the time. His contemporaries, such as Eugène Rouher, Prince Victor, Robert de Flers, and Georges Lecomte, praised his scholarship and writing skills but above all his devotion to the Bonapartist cause. Indeed as Gabriel Hanotaux remarked he had Bonapartism in the blood, and his work on Napoleon undertaken in the period post-débâcle to the 14-18 war is amongst some of the most exhaustive and passionate.

    To understand Frédéric Masson it is necessary to study his professional life, namely his career at the ministry for foreign affairs, his political actions after Sedan, his marriage to Marguerite Cottin (daughter of Eugène Rouher), his post as Prince Napoléon’s private secretary, his 25-year period as mayor of Asnières-sur-Oise, and his position as secrétaire perpétuel at the Académie française. He was an indefatigable writer, his political articles appearing in broadsheets such as La Presse, L’Ordre, Le Napoléon, La Patrie, L’Echo de Paris, Le Peuple, Le Gaulois, Le Correspondant, and in reviews such as La Revue des Deux Mondes, La Revue des Etudes Napoléoniennes, Le Figaro illustré, etc. The aim of this study is to give a complete reappraisal of Masson’s life and work, taking into consideration his enormous historical output, both manuscript and printed, and the works in his personal library, both manuscript and printed, underlining his ‘Bonapartist life in the service of Napoleon’. I shall also review the political, social, economic and cultural conditions in which Frédéric Masson, (whose father died in the events of 1848), lived and managed, in 1919, to become secrétaire perpétuel de l’Académie française.
    The project will use the following resources :

    Whilst good work on Frédéric Masson as a writer has been done (Sorel, Cahuet, Rageot, Grandmaison), his collection of books (70,000 works), drawings, and objets d’art (40, 000 etchings and engravings, for example), held at the Bibliothèque de la Fondation Dosne-Thiers are still little known.

    The Bibliothèque Thiers also holds a lion’s share of the the historian’s private archives, arranged by Henri Mallo, the man responsible for the Bibliothèque Thiers at the time of Masson’s death. In addition to this are the papers added in 1999 by Madame Bellaigue. Other collections are held in the Bibliothèque nationale de France (fonds Bazin), Russian Central Archives in Moscow (correspondance with the Grand Duke Nicolas Mikailovich, historian and collector), the Bibliothèque Slave in Meudon and the collection held by the Association des Amis de Frédéric Masson (correspondance avec la famille impériale). Other letters are held in the Archives des Affaires étrangères (before 1879) and the Bibliothèque de l’Institut. Prince Napoléon’s papers including letters to Masson are held at the Archives Nationales in Paris under the shelfmark 400 AP. Finally the municipal archives of Asnières-sur-Oise contain the minutes of the meetings at which Masson was present or over which he presided between 1874 et 1912.

  • Marie DINELLI-GRAZIANI: A great collector : Cardinal Fesch. The paintings collection
    Doctoral thesis
    Supervisor: Professeur Daniel Rabreau
    Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne

    This project takes as its subject the remarkable art collection assembled at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries by Cardinal Joseph Fesch.
    As the half-brother of Letizia Bonaparte, Napoleon’s mother, Joseph Fesch was major figure in the history of the Bonaparte family. Furthermore, Bonaparte made him Archbishop of Lyons (1802), cardinal (1803), French ambassador to the Holy See in Rome (1803-1806) and finally Grand Aumônier de l’Empire (1805). On the fall of the empire, like the rest of the Bonaparte family, he went into exile in Rome.My interest in Fesch’s paintings collection is in fact the continuation of my university work on the paintings in the museums and churches of Bastia, many of which came from the Fesch collection.And although the collection was broken up on the cardinal’s death, it as never ceased to fascinate. Indeed many articles have been written. But there has never been a fundamental work on the whole collection. Dominique Thiébaut’s introduction to the catalogue for the exhibition at the Musée Fesch in Ajaccio of Italian ‘primitifs’, held in 1987 is the closest anyone has come.

    But the Fesch collection (though exceptional) was controversial even in the cardinal’s lifetime. Lucien Bonaparte was highly critical not only of the ensemble but also of the collector, calling Fesch’s passion for art “tableaumania” !: “[Whilst there are about 200 paintings of quality,] the rest are attested copies, exceedingly mediocre originals, or frankly bad pictures, correctly consigned to the attics of five or six houses rented expressly to house this monstrous gallery, monstrous both in quantity and in quality…”. Some say that the collection contained between twenty and thirty thousand, but the jury is still very much out. Even today Cardinal Fesch is sometimes presented as “a collector who could not limit or assuage his passion and whose sole enjoyment was derived from amassing art works”.

    The aim of this study is to try to understand why the Fesch collection still excites such passion and division.
    Starting from his familial, political and philosophical context, I shall attempt to reveal the conditions in which the collection was amassed (1st part).
    I shall define more precisely contents and nature of the collection (2nd part) by closely studying gallery sale catalogues as well as the inventory established in Rome by the executors of his will.
    I shall then be able to describe the personality of the cardinal and argue that Fesch as collector, in my opinion, had a good ‘eye’ and could spot a masterpiece (whether of the day or for the future) amongst a mass of artistic dross (3rd part).

    Appendices to be included :
    Detailed chronologies of Fesch’s life and the main events of his time ;
    A catalogue showing the present location of the principle paintings from the Fesch collection ;
    A choice of illustrations and a transcription of the post-mortem inventory.

  • Philippe ROY: Permanent military hospitals in France during the First Empire (1804-1814)
    Doctoral thesis
    Supervisor: Professeur Jean Tulard
    Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

    The Service de Santé militaire was created during Sully’s period of power, as a result of the many victims resulting from the Siege of Amiens. The service grew throughout the 17th century with an ordonnance in January 1629 and an edict of 17 January, 1708. From 1717 on, all military hospitals, both mobile and fixed, were placed under the administrative control of the Ordonnateurs et Commissaires des guerres.

    The Revolutionary, Directory and Consulate periods also enacted significant modifications, for the most part enhancing the power of the Ordonnateurs et Commissaires des guerres to the detriment of the surgeons, doctors and pharmacists of the Corps de Santé des Armées.

    The structure of this administration (founded on regulations passed on 3 Ventôse, An II, 30 Floréal, An IV, 24 Thermidor, An VIII 9 Frimaire, An XII, 4 Germinal, An VIII and 17 Nivôse, An IX) acted as a brake on the reforms demanded by the military ‘Officiers de santé’, notably Barons Percy and Larrey (for the Armée de Terre) and Keraudren, Inspecteur général du Service de Santé de la Marine.

    The military hospitals of the empire can be divided up into three main groups: mobile, fixed and permanent. And the definition of these depend on their position with regard to the wounded and the nature of the treatment required.

    This study will be of the ‘permanent’ military hospitals of the Armée de Terre and of the Marine, present on the French territory of the First Empire.

    The following sources will be used :

    The Archives nationales, Paris.
    The Archives du Musée du Service de Santé des Armées (Val-de-Grâce).
    The Archives de la Service Historique de l’Armée de Terre (Château de Vincennes).
    The large and exhaustive bibliography on the subject.

    Despite the fact that during the Empire the number of wounded grew continuously, the number of military hospital establishments diminished, from 50 after the Edict of 1708 to 30 at the time of the regulation of 24 Thermidor, An VIII, and to 16 at the time of the regulation of 16 Frimaire, An IX. Twenty-eight military hospitals were noted in the census of 1814. And staff dropped too, despite the growth in patients.

    This study will consider the three characteristic elements of the hospital infrastructure of the Services de Santé de l’Armée de Terre et de la Marine.

    The personnel in the hospital administration, with the preponderance of Ordonnateurs et Commissaires des guerres, both in Paris, dependent on the Ministère de l’Administration de la Guerre and some of its departments (Bureau des hôpitaux, Inspection générale du Service de Santé de l’Armée de Terre, Directoire central des hôpitaux militaires), and in the provinces, where these hospitals were run by internal Conseils d’administration. As for the Ministère de la Marine et des Colonies, I shall study the duties of the Première and Cinquième Divisions, the work of the Service des vivres et des hôpitaux as well as the actions of the Inspection générale du Service de Santé de la Marine, not to mention the Conseils de Santé of ports.

    The career path of military hospital staff, from recruitment to exercise of the profession, noting the difficulties presented to students given the disappearance of the during the Consulate of the military training hospitals in the face of the survival of the schools of medicine and of naval surgery. Given the continued decline in numbers, prefects were often forced to recruit practitioners from the civilian world.

    The support missions of the Corps de Santé with respect to the armed forces, notably the adaptation and innovation in the terms of the evacuations of the wounded, new amputation techniques, hygiene and disease prevention, practices which were to find a place in civil hospitals.


  • Pierre-Olivier DOUPHIS: Paul Chenavard (1807-1895), draughtsman
    Doctoral thesis
    Supervisor: Professeur Bruno Foucart
    Paris IV-Sorbonne

    The Lyons artist Paul Chenavard was one of the most eminent cultural figures of the 19th century, although he was known more for his encyclopedic knowledge and his reputation as conversationalist than for his artistic output. He did however design an imposing project (rejected by the powerful clerical faction) for the interior decoration of the Pantheon in Paris in 1848. In revenge, Chenavard bargained his support for the Coup d’Etat in return for a block on the plan for the Pantheon to become once more an ecclesiastical building. It would appear that Napoleon III had no hand in the rejection of Chenavard’s Pantheon project. The emperor never criticised his work, and in July 1853 the artist was to receive the Légion d’honneur, following the exhibition of five of his paintings of the Pantheon, as a sort of reward.Chenavard’s eviction from the Pantheon, shortly after 2 December, 1851, greatly affected the artist. But even though he abandoned painting he did not give up creating. The Second Empire was for him a period of great sculptural, architectural and even civil engineering projects, often directly linked with the work of Baron Haussmann in Paris. In 1853, in concert with the sculptor Jean-Auguste Barre (medal founder and official sculptor of the Imperial family) he made the proposal that the Arc de triomphe de l’Etoile in Paris should be topped with a representation of Napoleon Ist as victor in a chariot accompanied by Glory, Fame, three of his brothers and his brother in law, Murat. At the same period he wished to build another ‘arc de triomphe’ dedicated to industrial and civic glory and set in the Place du Trône in eastern Paris. His idea was that the two arches would form the two main gates to the city, themselves linked by one of the arms of Haussmann’s ‘grande croisée’. During the 1860s, he proposed the digging of canal from Dieppe to Paris so as to turn the capital into a sea port, and this project was to be his obsession until his death. Indeed he even had the idea of prolonging the canal as far as the Mediterranean and having it cross another at Lyons running from Germany to the Atlantic, thus making France a great economic power and less turned in on itself.

    During the Second Empire, he was also to propose a certain number of commemorative sculptures to be set on the tombs of great men or in public squares, for example (in 1858) an aedicule upon the tomb of François Arago in the Père Lachaise cemetery, and later in 1862 a monument to the De Maistre brothers in Chambéry.

    None of these monuments were ever built and they are only known from a few drawings and certain documents. And despite the fact that they reveal a new facet of the artist (as a creator of monuments), no other researchers have taken this into account. Furthermore, whilst there are few paintings by Chenavard, many drawings and sketches survive (mostly for works never painted). Such was the case with the 1831 composition Mirabeau apostrophant le marquis de Dreux-Brézé, done for a competition organised by Louis-Philippe to find new decoration for the Assemblée nationale. Similarly, another historical composition exists in the form of the 1833 Une séance à la Convention nationale, showing the night in which the convention voted for the death of Louis XVI.

    The aim of this study is to provide a “catalogue raisonné” of the graphic works by Chenavard, in which these works (that is, the known drawings, in particular those in public collections, especially the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, the largest repository of his work in that the artist bequeathed them to the museum, and also the unknown ones, such as the sculptural and architectural projects) are presented in chronological order.

    I shall also consider the problems raised by the drawings (dating, technique, subjects, dedicatees), establish the correct order for the Pantheon project, and consider the various projects which Chenavard came up with throughout his life in the context of 19th-century ideas and influences.

  • Juliette GLIKMAN: Imperial symbolism and the representation of history during the Second Empire. A contribution to the study of the foundations of the regime
    Doctoral thesis
    Supervisor: Professeur Alain Corbin
    Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne

    The Second Empire is often perceived not so much as an original construction but rather as a restoration of the First.Indeed, this confusion was sanctioned by the founder of the regime himself, as seen in the words of the Constitution of 14 January, 1852: “take as a model the institutions which, at the beginning of the century, in analogous circumstances, strengthened a weakened society and raised France to a high degree of prosperity and grandeur”. And so an original symbolism was devised to root the imperial idea in history. The idea of antiquity runs as a leitmotiv through the project, as does the idea of the return of the mythical golden age. Roman references abound at the beginning of the Empire, from poetry (Le Testament de César by Jules Lacroix in 1849) to law (beginning with the writings of the future president of the Senate, Troplong). The myth of the origins of the French empire was distinct from the gradual emergence of the figure of Caesar (which culminates in 1865-1866 with the publication of the biography of the Roman general by the Emperor, itself followed by many pamphlets. The figure of Caesar would appear to have been destined to embody an ideal and abstract image of the Emperor, no longer an identifiable historical figure (the imperial cloak, sceptre, electoral urn .), but rather generic and the incarnation of immortality and imperial dignity.

    My research will use documents hitherto little studied, particularly where they reveal partisan views in favour of the Empire. The ‘voeux’ and addresses (Archives nationales : fonds F1/CI, esprit public, F/70, ministère d’Etat, O5, maison de l’Empereur) and ‘louanges’ (Bibliothèque nationale et Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris) directed at Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. I shall also look at the corpus of pamphlets and brochures of the ‘publicistes thuriféraires’ of the Napoleonic cause, notably Eugène Duverger, Edmond de Beauverger, Louis Couture, Adolphe Granier de Casagnac, Alexandre Weil. I hope to establish a typology which differentiates the major themes, thus making it possible to see and evaluate (but without focussing on whether the work was spontaneous or commissioned) how far the imperial idea and its development were understood. I similarly hope to view the ‘imperial idea’ from outside the perspective of France’s republican past. The notion of imperial renewal has to be set against the temptation to set the regime within the continuity of French history in general (as, for example, with the evocation of the fourth dynasty). The viewpoint of the partisans of the regime allows for the establishment of another chronology. Even the term, Second Empire will be reconsidered, itself an a posteriori construction little used by Bonapartists. In fact in the weeks preceding 2 December 1852, they described the event as a proclamation of a legality (it must be said, interrupted in 1815) but never abolished by the will of the people. It was a reappearance of the same French empire.

    I shall also study iconographical sources (but without falling into the trap of performing an exhaustive analysis of the representation of the sovereign) notably: the prints, paintings, and medals held in the Paris Bibliothèque nationale and in the Cabinet des arts graphiques at the Musée Carnavalet. I shall however concentrate upon two specific categories, namely the monumental ephemeral works (the monuments in the Camp de Châlons erected by the regiments on exercise there and known from the photographs held in the Paris, Musée de l’Armée – which can be viewed on this site), triumphal arches for imperial entries, and projects for monuments. Use shall also be made of the Arcade database of the Archive nationales which provides a list of the state commissions for works of art.