‘Mapping Paris: Artists’ Studios in the 18th-Century City’

Dr Hannah Williams (Queen Mary, University of London)

Wednesday 16 November
4:10 pm
Barber Institute Lecture Theatre


Hubert Robert, Entrance to Hubert Robert’s Studio in the Louvre, c.1779-90. Musée du Louvre. Photo: © RMN-GrandPalais (Musée du Louvre)/Thierry Le Mage. Image source: RmnGP

Paris is a city renowned for its artistic neighbourhoods. Images spring to mind of places like Montmartre and Montparnasse in the 19th and 20th centuries, where art practice evolved through relationships between local people in local spaces. But strikingly little is known about what came before. This paper explores the less familiar history of artists’ studios in 18th-century Paris, discovering how the ‘city of art’ was inhabited in the early modern period. Drawing from my research into artists’ social networks within the Académie Royale and also from an on-going digital mapping project, this paper investigates where Parisian artists were living between 1675 and 1793, and explores how artistic communities developed across the period. It is also concerned with the role played by the city and local neighbourhoods in artistic sociability during this period and considers the studio as a space in early modern Paris.

Biographical Statement:
Hannah Williams is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. She is an art historian specializing in eighteenth-century France and is the author of Académie Royale: A History in Portraits (2015). She is currently writing a book on religious art in the parish churches of Paris and working on a digital mapping project exploring the cultural geography of the Paris art world.

All welcome; refreshments served
Enquiries to Sara Tarter:



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