François Fossier


François FOSSIER


François Fossier was born in Paris in 1950. He is a former student of the Ecole Nationale des Chartes, finishing at the head of the class and becoming a member of Rome’s Ecole française. He was named, when he got back to France, head of the Musée Thiers (of the Institut de France) and in charge of the Institut’s Library’s hand-written collection. He then became curator in chief at the BNF’s Cabinet des Estampes. He defended his PhD dissertation in 1994 and directly joined Lumière University Lyon 2 as chair in Contemporary Art. He was head of the Department, vice-doyen, member of many specialized commissions and many dissertation juries. He retired in October 2011 with the title of First Class Professor Emeritus.


VILLA MEDICIS book project: L’édition scientifique Great Prize of Rome (with notes, annexes, bibliography and index) of about ten thousand unpublished letters composing the entire correspondence of the Villa Medici’s’ directors and several pensioners of the 19th century (from the refunding of the Académie de France by Napoléon until World War I). It is a privileged viewpoint for art and music esthetics over a long period, but also for fine arts administration, the unknown role of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, and the daily life in Rome in its concrete details, being both macro and micro history. The publication is a gold mine of information for the art historian, as well as economic and administration historians and even for society as a whole.

5 keywords: History, Contemporary Art, Villa Medici, Engraving, Transmission


  • Manuel de la méthodologie pour l’historien de l’art, 2006.
  • La nébuleuse nabie, les Nabis et l’art graphique, RMN/BNF (1993)
  • Correspondance des directeurs de l’Académie de France à Rome: Tome 5, Horace Vernet 1829-1834, 2010