French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici celebrates 350 years

Celebratory events at French Academy in Rome to mark 350th anniversary.

To mark its 350th anniversary the iFrench Academy in Rome – Villa Medici is staging a series of cultural events, free to the public, over the weekend of 13-14 February.

The two-day event centres around telling the story of the Académie de France à Rome which was founded by Louis XIV in on 11 February 1666, originally at Palazzo Capranica, before moving to Villa Medici in 1803.

The celebratory events include performance tours (now fully booked) led by artists and actors, while from 18.00-22.00 on both evenings guests can enjoy a light show on the internal façade of the villa, which is located between the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese.

French Academy in Rome celebrates 350 years 2

Accompanied by music and video, the Spectaculaires - Allumeurs d’images illustrates the history of the French Academy with works from its archives and art by its fellows.

In September 2015 the artist, actress and theatre director Muriel Mayette-Holtz became the first woman to direct the academy. Among her most famous predecessors was the artist Balthus, who headed the academy from 1964-1979, and whose art was recently the subject of a major joint exhibition at Villa Medici and the Scuderie del Quirinale.

For full details of anniversary events see academy website, while for insights into the history of Villa Medici see Wanted in Rome feature article by Margaret Stenhouse.