Between 1667 and 1792, the artists and amateurs of the Acade mie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris lectured on the Acade mie's 'confe rences', foundational documents in the theory and practice of art.
These texts and the principles they embody guided artistic practice and art theory in France and throughout Europe for two centuries. In the 1800s, the Acade mie's influence waned, and few of the 388 Acade mie lectures were translated into English.
Eminent scholars Christian Michel and Jacqueline Lichtenstein have selected and annotated forty-two of the most representative lectures, creating the first authoritative collection of the 'confe rences' for readers of English.
Essential to understanding French art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, these lectures reveal what leading French artists looked for in a painting or sculpture, the problems they sought to resolve in their works, and how they viewed their own and others' artistic practice.