Research Grants 2003


  • Clémence ZACHARIE-TCHAKARIAN: The sénat conservateur of An VIII, a second, constituent assembly
    Supervisor: Professor Claude Goyard
    University Paris II

    Whilst some of its most positive descriptions presented it as an ” areopagus of influential magistrates “, a ” club of affluent clients “, or a ” college of eminent servants”, the Sénat conservateur was however more often considered a useless institution, feudally enslaved to the despot, Napoleon, allowing the establishment of democratic dictatorship. […]

    I shall begin my study by sidestepping the historical and juridical literature and by plunging directly in medias res, namely, the one hundred or so sénatus-consultes, the first of which was passed on 15 Nivôse, An IX (4 January, 1801). Two themes emerge from this systematic study of the Sénat’s minutes and archives:

    1) that the Sénat had a real juridical and legal activity, which derived on the one hand from the primary functions with which the institution endowed by the Constitution of 22 Frimaire, An VIII, and on the other, the Sénat’s (and its contemporaries’ and epigone’s) interpretation of that constitution. From the start during the Consulate right up to the end in 1814, the Sénat was designed to be the special interpreter of national will. As such the Sénatus-consultes (the legal tools promulgated by the body) have an entirely separate juridical existence, and are a reflection of the equilibrium planned for the Consular and Imperial institutions.

    2) which derives from the first and is set within the constitutional framework of the Constitution of An VIII, namely, that, if the action of the Sénat can be considered as a usurpation of the constituent role, this derives from the very nature of the original functions, namely, that the Sénat guaranteed the constitutionality of the laws, and this mission was assigned to it in 1799. As a second, constituent assembly and as such unconstitutional, the Sénat was primarily an auxiliary, constituent assembly in that it is explicitly called the guardian of the Constitution. And whilst the intervention of the Sénat was long considered servile, it owes this reputation more with respect to the Consular institutions than to Napoleon.

    The Sénat conservateur was in fact, as a result of its constituent beginning, a key link in the chain of constitutional development. It was theoretically grounded, juridically mature, as can be seen in the foundation of the Consulate, and acted as a real control over the constitutional nature of laws. Furthermore, it prefigures the developments and slippage in terms of constitutional control, of all the other organs designed to preserve the constitution; as such it became a specific expression of the sovereign’s will, which he tried to preserve, along with the other institutions.

    It is as a result interesting to track the origins and evolution of Consular constitutionalism on the one hand, and the reality of its position as representative of the sovereign’s will, on the other.

  • Anne-Sophie GALOFARO-DARMAGNAC: Saragossa during the French occupation after the sieges of the Peninsula War 1809-1813
    Supervisor: Professor Gérard Dufour
    University of Aix-Marseille

    The key feature of this study is its aim to provide the first ever systematic consideration of the French occupation of Saragossa between 1809 and 1813.

    Indeed the event is largely ignored by both French and Spanish historians (only a few biographies of Suchet mention his role as governor general of the province of Aragon), and yet, his actions show him to have been a thoroughly ‘modern’ governor. This burocratic aspect of Suchet’s life will be studied in detail, notably: his vision of the civilian organisation of a capital (and thus his district) not to mention the role played by commerce, industry, urbanism, celebrations and festivities.

    At the same time I shall attempt to analyse his actions regarding the organisation of the administration, the judiciary and geographical set-up, concentrating particularly on the results of a decree promulgated by Napoleon, 8 February,1810; this decree, which created a local government (called the gouvernement de l’Aragon), joined the province to the Empire, thus giving it great independence with respect to Madrid.
    The second part of the study will involve research on the population of the town. I shall try to give an outline of everyday life in Saragossa (elements such as the price of food, availability of lodgings, lack of teachers, etc) whilst also giving a portrayal of the Spanish members of the different administrations, in particular the Municipalité, an important body which mediated between civilians and soldiers.

    Also to be studied will be the reaction of the proud inhabitants of Saragossa. After two sieges, they found themselves under the administration of a greatly disliked enemy. Did they resist or did they collaborate with the French? The behaviour of the locals (flight, resistance, collaboration) was determined by their social standing and wealth: the people, the prime losers in this conflict, no longer courted by the aristocracy or the clergy, adopted a strategy of passive resistance. In this respect, it is remarkable to note that Saragossa, so fiercely fought over between 1808 and 1809, was to be one of the last towns in Spain to be liberated, in the summer of 1813.

    The fundamental approach will be one by which I shall diversify as much as possible the themes considered, namely: everyday life, law, economics, biographies, whilst also relating these to the countries concerned, namely Spain and France.


  • Jeremy CERRANO: Pierre-Victor Galland (1822-1892), painter and decorator
    Supervisor: Professor François Loyer
    University of Lyon II

    Born in Switzerland into a family of goldsmiths, Pierre-Victor Galland followed in his family’s footsteps, before taking up an artistic career. He initially signed up to become an architect at the atelier of Henri Labrouste, later joining that of the painter Drolling where he met Besnard, Chaplin and Paul Baudry. He then entered the workshop of the great theatre decorator, Pierre-Luc-Charles Cicéri. And it was here that he made the acquaintance of Diéterle, Séchan and Cambon with whom he was to collaborate in his large national manufactories.

    Using his social connections, he became the darling painter of certain financiers (Rothschild, Erlanger, André), certain rich industrialists (Cail, Grandval, Darier, Scherer…) and certain non-French aristocrats (Baron Paul Georgevitch Von Derwies, Prince Narischkine in Saint-Petersburg, and the Marquis de Guadalcazar in Madrid).

    In 1849 he collaborated with Labrouste in the organisation of the public ceremonies which took place during the return of Napoleon’s corpse to Paris. […] In 1855 he participated in the decoration of the palace of Saint-Cloud, producing a ceiling representing the arts and two door decorations (poetry and literature), commissions from the Minister of State and of the Emperor’s household, Achille Fould, who was also to commission a portrait of Napoleon III and the Empress Eugénie in 1853.

    Unfortunately, many of Galland works, such as the decoration of the town mansion belonging to Achille Fould’s brother, Louis Fould, were to be destroyed at the coming to power of the Third Republic, notably burnt during the Commune.

    The portraits of the Emperor and Empress are known thanks to the tapestry cartoons from the Musée de Versailles which are currently deposited at Compiègne – in fact, Galland was highly reputed during the Second Empire as much as a painter as a tapestry weaver. He was to make a tapestry for the Empress for her Elysée salon, and he was also to do work for the Louvre promoting the glorification of the political system, dear to the heart of all dynasties […]

    There are several reasons why the enormous output of so famous a painter in his time as Galland has been forgotten. Firstly he was a painter/decorator. Trained in the academic style, he never obtained a Grand Prix de Rome unlike one of his comrades in Drolling’s atelier, Paul Baudry. Out of necessity, he was forced to start work young and to find a career which paid: namely, theatre/opera decor followed by the decoration of private town mansions […]. He never attracted the attention of critics since he never did exhibitions, always busy as he was with painting. And he worked most often for wealthy individuals whose collections were often inaccessible. […]

    But Galland’s work travelled beyond France to the USA where he worked with Paul Baudry for the financier Vanderbilt (1880) and for the press magnate Whitelaw-Reid (1890), who was to become American ambassador in France.

    The history of the art of the 19th century has forgotten Pierre-Victor Galland because his art was known only to an elite. This study will make it possible to evaluate the real influence of this painter upon French decorative arts.

  • Yves BRULEY: The Quay d’Orsay and the diplomats in Second Empire foreign policy
    Supervisor: Professor Georges-Henri Soutou
    University of Paris IV

    The subject of this doctoral thesis is at the crossroads of three historiographical trends: the history of the Second Empire; the history of the French administration; and diplomatic history, which is currently experiencing a certain renaissance with the present generation. […]

    For this thesis, the choice of the reign of Napoleon III was key. Firstly because of the enormous importance of the events in Europe and the rest of the world during the period 1852 to 1870, and the often decisive role played by France therein. Secondly because of the exceptional prestige of French diplomacy of the period, acquired at the beginning of the reign and which was manifested in the unparalleled energy and initiative of the diplomats of the time, and which stands in stark contrast to the spectacular downfall in the summer of 1870. Thirdly, there is the homogenous character of the diplomatic personnel of the period, which renders study of this “group” of senior civil servants especially valuable: almost all the ambassadors were selected from the ranks of career diplomats, and – even more remarkably – all the Foreign Ministers (with the exception of Comte Napoléon Daru) were chosen from amongst the ambassadors. Furthermore, it was the structural mutations in diplomatic practice which began during the Second Empire, particularly as a result of technical scientific advances (particularly, in transport and the telegraph), which greatly speeded up international relations and accentuated the centralisation of decision-making, to the minister’s advantage and to the detriment of the embassies.

    Finally, there was the problem specific to the Second Empire, namely that one is accustomed to read that the Emperor as a rule conducted diplomacy alone, often secretively and keeping his own civil servants in the dark, and that he was supported by ministers who were not allowed to take initiatives but who were simply puppets […]

    This study aims to bring about a sort of “Copernican revolution”, concentrating on the foreign policy of these two key decades, seen through the eyes of the Quai d’Orsay, through the eyes of the embassies and legations, and through the eyes of the diplomats, civil servants of the “Département”, and the ministers themselves. In this way I believe it will be possible to get an impression of the “decision-making process” for foreign affairs in this period – or rather, to be more precise, the plurality of decision-making processes – thus getting a better understanding of how power was wielded during the different phases of the reign of Napoleon III. […]


  • Joanna WALKOWSKA: The life and work of Auguste Couderc (1789-1873), history painter
    Supervisor: Professor Bruno Foucart
    University of Paris IV

    The study of the life and works of Louis Charles Auguste Couder is particularly important for the history of the art of the 19th century. Principally a history painter, but also a specialist in portraits and genre scenes, Couder’s artistic production was rich and varied. He received many official commissions and was employed – amongst other projects – on the decoration of public buildings, both civic and religious, and he led the movement to re-launch mural painting in France. His career was officially recognised, and he received many awards and titles; several of his works were bought by the state, and he was renowned not only as an art theoretician but also as a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts – indeed he was exceedingly active within the latter institution – and as such he is the perfect example of a whole generation of painter/academicians, recognised and honoured during their lifetimes but completely forgotten after their deaths. To this day, there has never been a complete study of Auguste Couder. This thesis aims to fill in this gap in our knowledge of the history of art of the 19th century.

    His beginnings as a painter are particularly interesting. He began during the First Empire and received the typical training of the period. He then did several apprenticeships (one notably under David). He experienced the teaching at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and later entered the Grand Prix de Rome competition. Analysis of his training will make it possible to explain the stylistic and iconographical choices made by the artist. […]

    From his debut at the Salon of 1814 up to 1848, Couder never ceased to exhibit his works (although the whereabouts of many today is unknown, and other have definitively been pronounced ‘lost’). Study of these Salon pieces and the results they obtained will make it possible to interpret the importance of the Salon in the first half of the 19th century, and to define the types of works demanded by the public and by those who commissioned the artists. Of particular interest in this respect are the reports by critics of the Salons and the articles published in the press of the period. […]

    In terms of painting technique, whilst Couder was particularly catholic in his tastes, he nevertheless took special interest in fresco painting (this after a visit to Munich in the early 1830s), becoming emblematic of the group of artists which renewed mural painting in France in the 19th century. […] During the reign of Napoleon III, much of Couder’s professional life was absorbed in theoretical writings and exceedingly active participation in the work of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, of which he had been a member since 1839. Study of these writings will shed interesting light on Couder’s own practice. Furthermore, consideration of his activity at the Académie will also give a clear view of the role of that institution in the artistic life of the second half of the 19th century, not to mention the status of the artist-academician at that time.

    Other key parts of the thesis will deal with Couder’s position with respect to religion, the political changes of the period and his late-adopted freemasonry.

    The aim of this work is, on the one hand, to define the place which Couder occupied during his lifetime (which stretched from the Restoration to the Second Empire), and to show how important he was for the history of the art of the 19th century, and, on the other hand, to create a formal catalogue of the artist’s work. […]

  • Isabelle ROUGE-DUCOS: The Arc de Triomphe, the construction and appropriation of a national monument 1806-1945
    Supervisor: Professor Jean-Michel Leniaud
    École Pratique des Hautes Études

    To say, ‘the Arc de Triomphe is a national monument’, would seem today to be a completely banal and self-evident remark; and yet the way this monument became ‘national’ has never been the subject of a detailed study. Was the Arc de Triomphe destined to become an emblematic national monument? Was it not also for those who came later an embarrassing Napoleonic relic? Did it not indeed become the object of political re-appropriations at every change of direction in French history?

    Monuments can become national in two ways, distinct but linked: the first comes from the initial intentions of those who create the monument, whereby they have a deliberate desire to create a monument which embodies a specific message, and a message that can last. The second is related to the way in which the original message of the monument is received by the descendants of the creators, whether to accept or refuse it. Whilst the material construction of the Arc de Triomphe is indispensable to this study, I shall also consider in parallel the manner in which the different regimes and peoples perceived it, in other words the way in which they participated in the construction of a national collective memory. Speeches, pompously-staged mourning, urban adaptation, popular celebrations: all these have been ways in which the monument has been appropriated by the different categories of society.

    The aim of this study is to highlight the mechanisms which have progressively contributed to the incorporation of this Napoleonic monument into the perceived body of French national heritage. How did this typically Napoleonic monument, the very image of the triumphant Empire, become a national and Republican symbol?

    In my attempt to answer this question, I shall in the first half of my thesis analyse the diffusion of the Napoleonic legend firstly during the First Empire and the Monarchy of July, and secondly during the Second Empire, in other words, the genesis of the monument as Napoleonic and Imperial, and its artistic and ideological makeup; my study will also reflect on the rejection of the monument at certain moments of crisis under different regimes (in particular, the Restoration), and its Napoleonic imagery. In other words, has Napoleonic ideology contributed to the national character of the Arc de Triomphe or has it inhibited it?

    The aim of the second half of the thesis will be to consider the genesis of the Arc de Triomphe as a way of viewing the architectural and urbanist ideas of Napoleon in a European light, in a comparative approach. The practice of triumphal entries is of course ancient, but how did it manifest itself during the reign of Napoleon I? There were other arches in the Empire, both temporary and lasting, and some never even built. They have ended up forming part of new urban ensembles and programmes in other cities of Imperial Europe.

    This study of the Arc de Triomphe is a excellent way to consider the artistic situation in Europe during the Empire, and to review the different elaborations of a typology of warlike monuments in the Empire, and the urban projects of which they were part.