Prologue aux guerres de religion : le sac de Rome (1527)

Représentation du sac de Rome en fléau divin dans un traité et pronostication sur la guerre de Rome, ms. Spencer 81, f° 3v, New York Public Library.
La descente de Bourbon en Italie. Carte de l’auteur.
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Le sac de Rome par les troupes de l’empereur Charles Quint – roi de Germanie, d’Espagne, de Naples et de Sicile, seigneur des Pays-Bas – en mai 1527 est un événement d’une rare violence qui a marqué tous les esprits au xvie siècle. Accident d’une guerre opposant une bonne partie des princes européens, il sert en partie d’exutoire aux tensions religieuses qui s’accumulent depuis la fin du Moyen Âge. Les protestants, mais aussi les soldats catholiques, y communient dans une ivresse sacrale qui annonce les conflits confessionnels à venir. Les soldats y conservent, cependant, une réelle rationalité – qui accorde tout son poids aux logiques de prédation. Rapidement connues dans toute l’Europe, ces exactions sont très majoritairement interprétées comme un événement religieux : juste châtiment de l’antéchrist papiste ou de la corruption de l’Église, fléau divin, sacrilège ou occasion de réconcilier les chrétiens dans la réforme universelle.

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Library of a “True Connoisseur”, Charles Sauvageot (1787-1860) (The)

Arthur Henry Roberts (1819-?), Interior of Charles Sauvageot’s Study, 48 x 59 cm, 1856, Paris, Musée du Louvre.
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The self-taught musician, enthusiast, and connoisseur Charles Sauvageot (1787-1860) was one of the founding fathers of the Louvre’s Department of Decorative Arts. His collection of objets d’art from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance included both European dilettanti and artists and grew from its contact with books from the collector’s library. This library was unpredictable in its outlines, consisting of both scholarly tomes and literature, in addition to an entire collection of the anecdotes, mores, and customs of the past. The library’s catalogue is an invaluable source that enables art historians to penetrate within the secret laboratory of the collector trying to revive the art of the past.

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Ruin as Monumental Object in European Architecture

Heidelberg Castle, watercolour drawing. Plundered in the late seventeenth century by the French during the War of the League of Augsburg, the gutted towers from the ruins of Heidelberg Castle are a work both “of time and of man,” in Chateaubriand’s sense.
Syros, Cyclades, watercolour drawing. © Tuija Lind, 2001. In the late twentieth century, even ordinary ruins spark interest, such as those of an abandoned factory. All ruins foster curiosity, as they allow the eye to pierce through their walls.
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Beginning with the Renaissance, interest in ruins focused on the monuments of Antiquity, before including all of the remains of the European past. The Enlightenment helped give birth to the new discipline of architectural conservation, because ruins then began to be regarded as aesthetic objects as well as mere historical records. Archaeological studies and measures for protection increased over the following centuries, as did the categories of ruins considered to be monuments or objects worthy of conservation. Certain ruins created by voluntary destruction, natural catastrophe, or abandonment were added to what were referred to as romantic or archaeological ruins. Today, ruins—edifices whose structure is seriously damaged—continue to spark great interest among professionals and visitors, while guides and administrators of heritage tourism have replaced the artists and writers of the past.

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Migration of Twentieth Century European Dance Artists

Anna Pavlova at the Gare du Nord, 1930, press photograph, Agence Meurisse.
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Dance artists, whether they were dancers, dance instructors, ballet masters, or choreographers, have always travelled to practice their art. Their journeys, which were voluntary in the case of training or tours, were sometimes forced by war, epidemics, or political and financial reasons. While French and Italian artists migrated throughout Europe during the early days of the professionalization of ballet, the political upheaval that marked the continent during the early twentieth century led to increased migration, primarily from East to West. For all that, growing globalization of exchanges also favoured the mobility of dance artists across Europe and toward America.

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Gender and Catholic authorities

Marcel Delboy, Mission des ports et des gares. Association catholique internationale des œuvres pour la protection de la jeune fille [Mission for Ports and Train Stations: International Catholic Charitable Association for the Protection of Young Girls], between 1925 and 1935, Marguerite Durand Library—City of Paris.

Religions contribute to the production of gender identities within European societies. During the twentieth century, the democratization and secularization which emerged from the liberal revolutions of the nineteenth century transformed religious authorities. While Catholic authorities supported traditional gender relations, the models proposed caused tension with their lay counterparts, for example the model of priestly masculinity founded on celibacy. Catholicism also represented a paradoxical and relative space of subversion by offering women a place of fulfilment and independence at a time when they were side-lined from the civic space. The twentieth century was increasingly marked by a tougher stance on the part of religious authorities with regard to traditional gender norms, which conditioned the evolution of relations to the political, up through the very contemporary debates surrounding “marriage for all.”

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Genre et formations professionnelles en Europe

École professionnelle Bischoffsheim, Bruxelles, vers 1900. Carte postale.
École pratique de commerce et d’industrie de Rouen, cours de dactylographie, années 1920.  Carte postale. © Musée national de l’Éducation.
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L’histoire de la formation professionnelle forme un volet encore peu exploré de l’histoire des sociétés européennes, non seulement du fait de ses structures plus complexes que celles de l’enseignement « général » mais également du fait du statut social moins prestigieux qui lui est accordé. Encore plus méconnue est la place tenue par les filles et les femmes au sein des différents dispositifs nationaux, comme si leur formation à un métier ne constituait pas un enjeu. Or, dès le dernier tiers du xixe siècle, l’éducation professionnelle des femmes est discutée et se développe modestement aux côtés d’une offre de formation majoritairement masculine. Au-delà de la mosaïque des situations nationales, deux dynamiques principales sont à relever. L’une renvoie au mouvement d’émancipation des femmes que l’accès à la formation professionnelle et donc au marché du travail qualifié a rendu possible. L’autre interroge, dans le cadre de sociétés fortement impactées par les deux révolutions industrielles, la contribution des formations à la construction d’un marché du travail fortement segmenté selon le genre.

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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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