Festival de l'histoire de l'art
Proposez une intervention

Le Festival

The Art History Festival

The 9th edition of the Festival de l’histoire de l’art will take place from Friday, June 7nd to Sunday, June 9th, 2019, at the château and on several sites in the town of Fontainebleau.

The Festival is a unique three-day entirely free international event organized since 2011 by the Institut national d’histoire de l’art and the Château de Fontainebleau, under the patronage of the French Ministry of Culture, that provides a crossroads between the world of professional art history and the public, bringing together scholars and a very broad and numerous public around a common passion for the visual arts.
The public is invited (free of charge and without reservation) to assist at more than 350 lectures, panels, debates, screenings, and book presentations which cover a wide array of artistic practices from ancient to contemporary, painting to sculpture, as well as photography, video, cinema, decorative arts and architecture.

The Festival invites 300 professionals of the art world (artists, professors, curators, art dealers, art publishers, students etc.) to present their expertise to a large audience in a scholarly yet passionate and accessible way. It goes beyond the usual academic borders, periods, and methods, providing an opportunity for the speakers to compare different practices in the domains of art history, heritage and culture. It also offers those professionals a chance to meet, discuss and interact together on a large scale.

Download the flyer of the 9th edition of the Festival de l’histoire de l’art.

Festivaliers dans la cour d’honneur du château de Fontainebleau lors du FHA 2018 © Thibaut Chapotot

International Students Sessions

They provide opportunities for the next generation of art historians in France and the EU to meet informally with established professionals and to share their research with the public. This initiative was started in 2012 and is financed in part by the Fondation Hippocrène.

Approximately 40 Master and PhD students in art, art history, cinema history and restoration are guests of the Festival and are given a privileged access to the event.
By inviting to Fontainebleau the experts they need to meet for their research, the Festival creates a precious moment of contact between two generations of scholars, but it also contributes to connect the future international community of art historians.

Call for application is open till February 15 (download the english version).


Every year, the Festival focuses on two main topics (a theme and a guest country).
This year, the theme selected by the scientific committee is People and the country the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Island). The program consists of events around its annual theme, and guest countries, as well as a film festival (Art & Caméra), a book fair, international student sessions and workshops for secondary teachers called the Spring University. It also offers tours, concerts, theater, and family activities.

Theme: People

The programme on the theme is the result of a call for paper, which will be available on this page of our website during the autumn 2018.


Guest countries: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Island

Every year, the Festival invites a country to compare its methods of research and teaching, its museum’s and heritage’s policy with this of France. It’s also an opportunity to present the current research about art in these countries.
The Festival has chosen to honor the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Island) as its guest country for the 2019 edition.
The programme about the guest countries is the result of the work of scientific committee, with the help of a working group compound of experts of each country (there is no call for communication about this part of the programme).


The Festival also offers recurrent main events:

Current Events Forum

What’s new in the Art world? The Forum de l’Actualité presents the latest news in the world of the arts. It opens the floor to topics that are under discussion at the time of the Festival, from new exhibitions to debates about the attribution of newly discovered masterpieces or the restitution of artwork exposed in European museum.

Art & Caméra

This film festival’s intent is to draw attention to cinema as an artistic medium, and to make cinema a meeting place. It features films on art that re-mediate art history and create a bridge between art historians and a broader audience.
Art & Caméra presents nearly fifty films in their original format as well as conferences and debates, designing a program that highlights the Festival’s theme and the guest country.
It’s also an occasion for the Festival to present one award, the Prix Jeune Critique, which allows high school students to become jury members of a film festival and learn analysis techniques.

Art Book Fair

It allows roughly 80 publishers and book dealers specializing in art to display their publications. Signing sessions or lectures by the authors will take place during this most important meeting of the year for the profession in France. Around 25 lectures will be given by authors on their latest books.

Tours, shows and family activities

Activities are created for children and teenagers (with their schools or families) to introduce them to art through workshops, age-appropriate films, and visits. Countless events are offered: concerts, theater, tours in the château, the gardens and the town of Fontainebleau. Come and listen to the musicians of the Conservatoire de Paris or the actors of the Comédie Française. The students at École du Louvre and Paris Sorbonne Université will be at the ready in the castle, happy to share their knowledge on classical orders of architecture or the secret meaning of the Galerie François Ier, adapting their discourse to the degree of knowledge in art history of their audience.

Spring University

Supported by the ministère de l’Éducation nationale, it provides training in art history for high school teachers (sessions and workshops).


The program will be made public around May, 2019 on the website of the Festival.
The paper program will be also available during this month.

Save the date June 7-9, 2019. We are expecting you in Fontainebleau!