Court Studies Forum

At a meeting held at Kenwood House, London on 6 July 2007, attended by Mathieu Da-Vinha. Luc Duerloo, Marcello Fantoni, Chantal Grell, Philip Mansel, Gérard Sabatier, Béatrix Saule, Malcolm Smuts and Simon Thurley, the decision was taken to establish the Court Studies Forum. The Forum, which links the Society for Court Studies, the Centro Studi Europa delle Corti, the Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles and La Corte en Europa Institute of the Independent University of Madrid and now the Centro Studi della Reggia di Venaria Reale, Turin, will encourage collaboration, exchange information, and organise publications and conferences. The Court Studies Forum believes that, as Marcello Fantoni said at the meeting, the court is one of the most important trans-national and trans-confessional institutions ever created in Europe. Courts are essential for creating a European history. The first conference was at Versailles in September 2009 on The Courts of Europe: National Historiographies and Future Perspectives. For further information please contact Marcello Fantoni, e-mail:

The second conference, on Royal Hunts in Europe of the Princes, was organised by the Centro Studi di Venaria Reale - web site - in Turin in November 2012. Speakers included: Suzanne J. Walker, John Christianson (The Infrastructure of the Royal Hunt: King Frederik II of Denmark, 1559-1588), Simon Adams (A Queen as Huntress: Elizabeth I of England, 1558-1603), Austeja Brasiuniate (Hunting culture in the King’s of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Augustus estate), Paolo Cozzo, Luc Duarloo (Archducal Hunters in a Forest of Symbols), Philippe Salvadori, Philip Mansel, Jose Martinez Millan, Felix Labrador Arroyo, Marcello Luzzi Traficante, Franco Pignatti, Enrica Guerra, Stefano Calonaci, Andrea Merlotti (Le cacce reali nello Stato sabaudo fra Sei e Settecento), Pietro Passerin D’Enteves, Laura Facchin, Anna Maria Bava and Franco Gualano.
For further information please contact: - web site:

Europa delle Corti: Centro studi sulle società di Antico regime was founded in 1976 at the Instituto di Studi Rinascimentali in Ferrara by Giancarlo Mazzacurati and Amedeo Quondam. It has encouraged the Italian historical profession to accept courts, hitherto shunned, as a legitimate field of historical enquiry. Its particular period of interest is the period from the fifteenth century to the end of the eighteenth. Europa delle Corti has promoted conferences and seminars and the publication by Bulzoni of over eighty volumes on individual courts, courtiers and court painters and writers. It believes that, as Marcello Fantoni has written, it was not ‘structures and networks that were the fulcrum of court life but rather the system of values from which these unequal personal relations drew their raison d’être’. Publications include studies of the Farnese courts in Parma and Piacenza by M. A. Romani and A. Quondam (1978); works edited by Cesare Mozzarelli on La Corte nella Cultura e nella Storiografia: Immagini e posizione tra Otto e Novecento(1983) and L’Europa delle Corti alla fine del Ancien Regime (1991); a translation of Grete Klingenstein's book on the rise of the House of Kaunitz (1993); and a study by Marcello Fantoni of La corte del Granduca: Forma e simboli del potere mediceo fra Cinque e Seicento (1994).

The Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles, housed in the Jussieu Pavilion, close to the Grand and Petit Trianon, is the first research centre established in a French palace. It initially came into being in 2005, before being officially founded in November 2006. It brings together researchers and curators, both French and foreign, who work together on European court civilisation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Centre organises symposia, takes part in educational and training activities (seminars, study visits and summer schools) and ensures research is widely circulated through publications. The Centre is open, by appointment only from 9 am till 12.30 pm and 2 pm till 5.30 pm. (tel. 01 30 83 58 81). The bulletin of the Centre is available online at The Centre lists its research programme as follows: “les grandes galeries des palais d’Europe aux 17e et 18e siècles (typologie, histoire, décor et usages); la cour de Versailles dans la France méridionale (1682-1789); étude pour une re-création des grands spectacles donnés à Versailles sous Louis XIV; pouvoir et histoire en Europe du 15e au 18e siècle: textes, images et légitimation politique; cultures de cour, cultures du corps, pratiques, normes et représentations corporelles dans les cours européennes avant la Révolution française; mémoire monarchique et construction de l’Europe: les stratégies funéraires des dynasties princières, 16e-18e siècles; sciences et pouvoir: le prince et le savant dans les cours européennes aux 17e et 18e siècles; la botanique appliquée aux jardins royaux d’Europe au 18ième siècle; se vêtir à la cour de France et dans les cours européennes (1650-1789): usages, consommation, circulation.”

The Instituto Universitario ‘La corte en Europa’ (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) was established in March 2006. It is devoted to study of the Spanish royal court from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century, using the methodology and network analyses of Sharon Kettering, Linda Levy Peck, and David Starkey. The Institute, which has a close relationship with Centro Studi ‘Europa delle Corti’, developed out of a research group of court historians brought together by Professor José Martínez Millán at the Independent University of Madrid at the end of the 1980’s. The group published two books, Institutions and Power Elites in the Spanish Monarchy during the Sixteenth century (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 1992) and The Court of Philip II (Madrid, Alianza, 1994). In 1998 it commemorated the four-hundredth anniversary of the death of Philip II with a four-volume book and an international conference, the proceedings of which are published in five volumes. In 2000 the four-hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Emperor Charles V was commemorated with another international conference, and a work on The Court of Charles V, in five volumes. The same group published The Monarchy of Philip II: The King’s Household in 2005, in two volumes, and will publish a three-volume work on The Court of Philip III (1598-1621) this year. La corte en Europa plans annual congresses and seminars and intends to publish an annual anthology of court studies. Subjects to be covered include: the court / state debate; embassies; the economic system of the court; the book and the court; court oratory; philosophy and the court; the court and cities; and vice-regal courts. It also plans to establish a Humanities Masters’ programme in court studies in which teachers from different study centres of the court in Europe will participate. For further information please contact Professor José Martínez Millán, Ciudad Universitaria de Cantoblanco, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras (módulo 7, despacho 8), Universidad Autónoma, 28049 Madrid (e-mail:, tel. 914967669). Website:

Issue 5 (winter 2012-13) of the bi-annual online journal of the Instituto Universitario “La Corte en Europa” (IULCE-UAM), Revista, has been published. It includes a Dossier on the Count Duke of Olivares, by various authors, book reviews and articles such as: ROSARIO FERRER GIMENO, ‘Mujeres en la corte de Fernando de Antequera y Alfonso el Magnánimo: Joana García,cobijera y su hija’; and ‘PABLO HERNÁNDEZ SAU’, La infidelidad a la amistad. Las relaciones hispano-otomanas en el s. XVIII, estudio de una diplomacia mediterránea en transición”. For further information, subscriptions and article submissions contact; or Manuel Rivero Rodriguez; Or consult

The Centro Studi della Reggia di Venaria ( is based in the palace of Venaria Reale ten miles outside Turin. The palace was commissioned by Duke Carlo Emanuele II in 1658 from the architect Amedeo di Castellamonte. Since the early nineteenth century the palace had been a barracks. Its restoration started in 1999. The Centro Studi opened in 2009. It coordinates research and studies about Italian and European courts, with particular reference to the courts of the House of Savoy, through the organization of conferences and publications. The Centre also manages relations between Reggia di Venaria and ARRE, the European royal residences association, and the Court Studies Forum. In addition the Centre helps organise exhibitions in Reggia di Venaria and Conversazioni a corte, a series of lectures about aspects of court history.

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