Flemish Artists’ Training Voyages in Italy

Illustration: Maarten van Heemsckerck, Self-Portrait In Rome with the Colosseum, 1553, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
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The many accounts during the seventeenth and later eighteenth centuries recounting the travels of artists along the roads of Europe, generally towards Italy, attest to a practice that was already commonly included in the training programs for artists of the time, but that had existed as early as in the sixteenth century. Seeking to learn a new way of painting, they left for Italy and most often Rome, with the aim of acquainting themselves with the contributions of the Italian Renaissance, before returning to their country of origin to apply the lessons. The travels of Northern artists during the sixteenth century, which are less well known because poorly documented, nevertheless made significant contributions to a renewal of the formal language and thematic repertoire of Flemish painting, as well as to the diffusion and circulation of artistic models on a European scale.

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Hereafter: Saint Michael (The)

Maître de Rohan, « Le mort devant son juge », enluminure des Grandes Heures de Rohan, vers 1440-1445 (Ms latin 9471, fol. 159, BNF).
Rogier Van der Weyden, The Last Judgment (detail) (Beaune, musée des Hospices, circa 1445-1450). Source: Wikimedia Commons https://goo.gl/ZwN8wh
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Saint Michael was a unique saint. As an archangel, he acted as the preferred messenger between Heaven and Earth. His struggle against the forces of Evil allowed him to serve as both a guardian and a warrior angel, which made him the ideal protector of the French monarchy. The figure of the archangel established itself in the late Middle Ages and beginning of the early modern period, particularly in France.

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Energie gazière et l’environnement urbain en Europe au XIXe siècle (L')

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La fabrication du gaz manufacturé pour renouveler l’éclairage urbain résulte de l’intérêt scientifique porté aux gaz depuis le xviiie siècle. Passée au stade industriel, l’énergie gazière connaît un essor généralisé en Europe à partir des années 1840. Mais l’insertion de l’usine à gaz dans l’environnement urbain rencontre de multiples oppositions, discrètes mais permanentes parmi les riverains des lieux de production, médiatisées lors des explosions effroyables. L’essor de l’énergie gazière dépend autant de sa rentabilité économique que d’une capacité à maîtriser le risque environnemental. 

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Nature végétale dans les villes européennes (La)

Jardins potagers, quai d’Auteuil (actuel quai Louis-Blériot), en face le pont de Grenelle et la statue de la Liberté, Paris, XVIe arr. ; prise de vue du 28 juin 1918. © Collection « Archives de la Planète », Musée départemental Albert-Kahn, Boulogne-Billancourt.
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La nature végétale était bien plus présente dans la ville ancienne que dans celle du xixe siècle dont nous avons hérité. À partir de la fin du xviie siècle, les évolutions politiques et sociales ont contribué à l’ordonnancement progressif des formes végétales, conçues pour embellir, assainir et policer la ville. Jusqu’à nos jours, des motivations esthétiques, somptuaires, sanitaires, moralisantes, écologiques se sont succédé et parfois combiné pour perpétuer, mais sous des formes diverses, la nature en ville.

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Sack of Rome (1527): the Triumph of Mannerism in Europe

Benvenuto Cellini, Christ supporting Saint Peter above the waves, inscription “Quare dubitasti?” (“Why did you doubt?”), 1530-1532, silver double carlin of Clement VII.
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The political accident that was the sack of Rome is a major landmark in the artistic history of Europe. Contemporaries insisted on its Protestant iconoclasm, which notably jeopardized the relics and sacred images of the Holy City, home of the Holy See and destination of pilgrimages. The sack dispersed the successors to Raphael along with the other actors of the first generation of Mannerists, thereby bringing about the immediate diffusion of the first Roman—as well as Florentine—manner, initially towards the main courts of Italy (1527 and 1528) and later to those of France (Fontainebleau) and ultimately Europe.

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EEC/EU and Development Aid from Lomé to Cotonou

Signature of the EEC/ACP Lomé Convention
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In 1957, an association agreement connected to the Treaty of Rome, laid the foundation for a policy of European development aid. Initially founded on the idea of a Euro-African free trade zone, it included almost exclusively Francophone African countries as part of a European Development Fund for investments of an economic or social nature. Beginning in the 1970s with the signing of the first Lomé Convention (1975), European development aid evolved considerably, with regard to both the number of countries involved and the instruments adopted. After being renewed three times, the Lomé Convention gave way in 2000 to the Cotonou Agreement, which made European aid compatible with the World Trade Organization and integrated the new priorities of the EU in the post-Cold War period.

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Queers in Europe

“Queer Liberation, Not Rainbow Capitalism demonstration,” Queer activists during LGBT Pride Parade in Dublin, Ireland July 2016

Since the sixteenth century, the word queer has meant “perverse” in English. The term spread in the United States in the late twentieth century to criticize and render obsolete both gender (man/woman) and sexual (homosexuality/heterosexuality) binarism through an analysis of their diversity. Its emergence on the European continent dates back to the 1990s, expressing itself within academia (through diverse publications of queer theory) and through the emergence of social movements distinguishing themselves from the traditional lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement. Queers in Europe created numerous national organizations reflecting the context of each country, notably in their relations with the LGBT movement, in addition to a perceptible transnational dynamic with respect to theoretical explorations and common European demonstrations.

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Moving Past Infertility

« Les vieux remèdes : pour guérir la stérilité », Publicité du laboratoire Paul Metadier, s.d.© Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de santé, René Descartes.“The Old Remedies: To Cure Sterility,” advertisement by the Paul Metadier laboratory, n.d.
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Since historians were late in taking interest in the subject, and bioethicists have hardly encouraged them, the history of infertility is often limited to that of the “new reproductive technologies” (NRT) that have appeared since the 1970s. Observed over two centuries, the history of infertility in Europe more broadly demonstrates the decline of resignation to biological fate, and illustrates the growing propensity to avoid sorrow and accomplish one’s intimate aspirations.

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Gender of Superstition

« Animal magnetism : The operator putting his patient into a crisis », dans Ebenezer Sibly, A Key To Physic and the Occult Sciences, 1814.“Animal magnetism: The operator putting his patient into a crisis,”  in Ebenezer Sibly, A Key To Physic and the Occult Sciences, 1814.
Albert de Rochas, L’extériorisation de la motricité [The externalization of motive power] (Paris: Chamuel, 1896), 189.
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The classical association between women and superstition underwent a renewal in the second half of the eighteenth century. Their visions, healing powers, and powers of necromancy were re-evaluated and reinterpreted between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, albeit in light of new medical or spiritual knowledge dominated by men in major European cities. Ancestral beliefs and popular rites, including when they were practiced by women, were collected as national or regional treasures, while witches were reintegrated within the national history and spirit of peoples. However, this re-evaluation was always fragile and was offset by great scepticism which sometimes got the upper hand, as in the late nineteenth century, and which sometimes yielded to other more political interests, as in the 1930s. With the subsequent spread of the notion that superstitions are no more than relics, the question of gender has become less important.

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Sexologie : une science européenne (La)

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Le mot sexology est attesté dès les années 1860 en langue anglaise, mais ne prend son sens moderne de science de la sexualité que dans les années 1900, d’abord en allemand (Sexualwissenschaft) et néerlandais (seksuologie), puis en français, espagnol (sexología), italien (sessuologia). Interdisciplinaire, cette science se nourrit d’abord de nombreuses spécialités médicales, mais aussi des sciences humaines et sociales et des mouvements militants. Elle a pour ambition de comprendre la sexualité humaine et son développement tout en distinguant le « normal » du pathologique. Elle traite aussi des questions liées à la reproduction et à la santé sexuelle. Plusieurs temps peuvent être esquissés. Le dernier tiers du xixe siècle est celui la « psychopathologie sexuelle ». Dans le sillage de la réforme sexuelle et de l’eugénisme, la sexologie connaît un nouveau tournant dans l’entre-deux-guerres. Au lendemain de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, cette discipline se renouvelle, sous l’influence américaine, et entre dans quelques universités.

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