Research grants 2012


  • Giorgio GREMESE : L’Armée d’Italie : entre alliée et occupante sur le sol italien (1801-1814) [The Army of Italy: between ally and occupier on Italian soil (1801-1814)]
    PhD thesis supervised by Professor Jacques-Olivier Boudon, Paris IV-SorbonneThe subject of my thesis is the relationship between the French army and Italy in the period 1801-1814. Through this, I hope to study the different levels of effect of French policy upon politicians, soldiers and civilians in Italy. The Armée d’Italie has been little studied, whether in terms of its makeup or its direct relationship with Italian society. Italy is a particularly interesting case study given its strict and unique link with France throughout the whole of the Napoleonic period. My sources will be the diplomatic papers and also the reports and documents relative to the Italian Ministry of War held at the Service Historique de la Défense (Paris). I will also be working in local archives in Italy using source material related to the presence of French troops, garrison life, economic and industrial networks related to the French presence, and of course local society both in political and demographical terms. The result will be the most detailed picture so far of Italy the allied but occupied country within Napoleon’s grand plan for Europe.
  • Johan MENICHETTI : La pensée juridique de Pierre-Louis Roederer (1754-1835) [The legal thought of Pierre-Louis Roederer (1754-1835)]
    PhD thesis supervised by Professor Patrice Rolland, Université Paris Est Créteil. Lawyer, legislator, journalist, state councilor, minister, diplomat: Pierre Roederer was not just a major political figure during the Revolution and First Empire, but also a jurist whose career considerably enriched the practice of law. Roederer was influenced very early on by Rousseau, Adam Smith, Montesquieu and Helvetius. His work and his career are emblematic of a generation of men whose thought was shaped by the Enlightenment, and who put it directly at the heart of legislation. As such, Roederer is a particularly interesting figure for a jurist. His talents, his abilities and his political longevity amongst other things allowed him to acquire a global vision of society. The overhaul which he was calling for at the end of the Ancien Régime took the form of a theory of a representative body as the foundation of the new system. This political desire was to find expression in a juridical action which quite naturally used all the elements of intellectual life and turned them towards the creation of a better society. Whilst Sieyes has long been considered the inventor of the ‘social art’, Roederer is definitely one of its principal theorists. This research project involves understanding the influence of the social sciences in progress on the juridical thought of Roederer and with him, a main group of jurists of the revolutionary period. This influence manifested itself in the final attributes of the law, as well as the forms taken by constitutional thought.


  • Bourse « MINOU AMIR-ASLANI » 2012 : Marion NARRAN : La résistance conservatrice à l’individualisme juridique. Doctrine civiliste et initiatives législatives (1789-1830) [Conservative resistance towards legal individualism. Civil doctrine and legislative initiatives (1789-1830)]
    PhD thesis supervised by Professor Jean-Luc Coronel de Boissezon, Université Montpellier IThis research grant was created in memory of Mme Minou Amir-Aslani, woman of letters and lover of history. The grant is supported and financed by her children.

    “Citizens, the Revolution is now settled according to the principles which began it: it is finished”. This famous conclusion to the proclamation made by the Consuls of the Republic on 24 Frimaire, An VIII (15 December, 1799), fixed at the outset the highly ambiguous rapport which Napoleon had with revolutionary legislation, and as such it neatly provides the seedbed for the questions to be considered in this study. From a juridical point of view, this aspiration to “finish the Revolution” had developed in reaction to the upheaval which beset the majority in their private lives under the dead hand of civil law as it emerged from the first four years of the Revolution, the common denominator of which was juridical individualism. Indeed resistance to this individualism had been prepared by the Counter Revolution and prolonged by the Thermidorian reaction, and it was to remain a significant feature of the grand codification project immortalised by Napoleon.

    The Code Napoléon, though very much a “transitional” code, did make a good number of concessions to Revolutionary legislation. The first Restoration of 1814 predictably reacted against juridical individualism, but during the Second Restoration Louis XVIII made a decisive choice to keep “Code civil des Français”. Only a few subsequent modifications were made, notably with Bonald’s law of 8 May, 1816, making divorce illegal. Other projects and debates concerning private property and right of succession were brought by the Ultra party.

    The Revolution of 1830, which for the first time combined the monarchical principle with liberal doctrine, of which individualism was one of the cornerstones, was to deprive conservative opposition to juridical individualism of one of the pillars of its institutional logic: and such opposition would not re-emerge with sufficient force until the Second Empire around the figure notably of Frédéric Le Play.


  • Lyne PENET : Théophile Silvestre (1823-1876), critique d’art [Théophile Silvestre (1823-1876), art critic]
    PhD thesis supervised by Professor Bertrand Tillier, Paris I Panthéon-SorbonneSince the publication of Jean-Paul Bouillon’s fundamental work by in the 1980s, art criticism of 19th century benefited from a surge in renewed historiographic interest. Despite this, the Second Empire period has remained relatively unexplored. This thesis is dedicated to one of the art critics of that period: Théophile Silvestre. After a biographical examination of his career, it will show how, in his first great work of art criticism Histoire des arts vivants, Silvestre chose to study the most famous painters and sculptors of his day in order to examine the validity of their reputation. Feeling confronted by an ailing world, a loss of ideals, Silvestre was in search of artists who would know how to regenerate art and life. Thus Delacroix, whose powerful imagination transfigured the real, was venerated as “the greatest artist of 19th Century.” After the death of Delacroix, Silvestre directed his attentions towards the painters of the school of Barbizon, who, like him, turned their back on the modern world which was developing according to progress and industry, the ills of which painting seemed a possible cure. Silvestre was charged with writing the catalogue of Alfred Bruyas’ collection, and he set out to venerate Delacroix and Romanticism, making the museum a shield against the decadence of modern art. From the Histoire des arts vivants to the catalogue of the Galerie Bruyas, this thesis will show which artifacts of his time Silvestre wanted to leave to future historians and how he made himself the moral guardian of art history, giving his period the form of a museum, already judged and categorised.


  • François-Xavier MARTISCHANG : L’autorité de l’État en Lorraine au XIXème siècle (vers 1800-vers 1880). Caractères, exercice, contestation [State authority in Lorraine in the 19th century (c. 1800 – c. 1880)]
    PPhD thesis supervised by Professor Jean El Gammal, Université de Lorraine, NancySubscribing to the recent growth in interest of historians regarding the question of authority, which one can, according to Larousse’s Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIXe siècle, define as ‘the right or power to command, to make oneself obeyed’, this thesis proposes a study of the authority of the State through the prism of its three provincial representatives: the prefects, the sub-prefects and the mayors, from 1800- the date of the reorganisation of the administration by Napoleon Bonaparte- to the beginning of the 1880s, when the Third Republic was fully imposed.
    Studying the relationship of authority between the representatives of the state and the provincial population involves first of all defining, through a normative approach, what the foundations of the authority of these representatives was. This will allow an analysis, on as fine a scale as possible, of the practical and everyday of that authority, starting with the practice-related documents. It will then be necessary to turn to demonstrations of support, respect or dissent of those governed, in order to determine to what degree the populace accepted or resisted authority.
    In order to examine a large enough terrain showing different situations… the thesis is focused on the four Lorraine departements: Meuse, Meurthe, Moselle and Vosges, allowing for diversity of situations in a contextually coherent.
    This thesis aims to shed new light on particular important themes, such as the construction of the State in the course of the 19th century, the power relationship between the governors and the populace and the democratisation of the country.
  • Karolina STEFANSKI : L’adaptation et le rejet du style « Premier Empire » dans l’orfèvrerie du XIXe siècle en Europe centrale et de l’Est [Adaptation and rejection of the First Empire style in 19th century metalwork of Central and Eastern Europe]
    PhD thesis supervised by Professor Bénédicte Savoy (Technische Universität, Berlin)Aside from its inestimable political influence, the omnipresence of Napoleonic power also manifested itself through decorative art. Napoleon’s preference for gold and silverwork changed the traditions of French goldsmiths and promoted the art to a new level of production. With the help of the architects Charles Percier and Pierre François Léonard Fontaine, Napoléon I established a new style with new symbols and decorative motifs, thereby developing a system which at the time was either imitated or rejected by the rest of Europe.
    Which countries in Central and Eastern Europe wanted to adopt and imitate this iconic First Empire style in their production of metalwork in the course of 19th Century? Which countries refused to imitate it and why? What differentiates the metalwork of Central and Eastern Europe from that of France during the First Empire? Which objects and forms were produced in these respective countries, and what can we deduce from it?
    The objective of this thesis is to observe the influence and the rejection of First Empire style in the metalwork of Central and Eastern Europe in 19th century. The research project combines cultural, social, historical, political, technical and artistic analysis, and will establish a catalogue of metalwork in the public and private collections of Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Russia.