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Le monde au bout des doigts. François Le Large, le globe de Coronelli et les cultures géographiques dans la France de Louis XIV

Dates:
  • Tue 29 Sep 2020 09.00 - 11.00
  Add to Calendar 2020-09-29 9:00 2020-09-29 11:00 Europe/Paris Le monde au bout des doigts. François Le Large, le globe de Coronelli et les cultures géographiques dans la France de Louis XIV

Registration is required: this thesis defence will be held online via Zoom. Should you wish to attend, please contact [email protected]

Abstract by Martin Vailly:

My doctoral thesis explores the constitution of the geographical cultures of the French elite and courtiers at the end of the reign of Louis XIV, from 1680 to 1720. It is rooted in the social history of science and the historical anthropology of knowledge and starts from both the study of Vincenzo Coronelli's globes, their circulation in the cabinets of curiosities, and the work of François Le Large, the guard of the king's globe in Marly. The scope of my study encompasses two different yet complementary types of places of geographical practice: the court of Louis XIV where a pair of large cosmographic globes were exhibited and the different places of scholarly work, such as libraries, cabinets and gardens. Through the analysis of the constitution of geographical knowledge, how it was represented on the surface of terrestrial globes, how it was discussed and appropriated by amateurs of geography, I highlight the importance of geographical knowledge in the social, political and cultural life of early modern France.

The examination of the work and persona of François Le Large offers a fresh perspective on how the constitution and access to geographical culture interact with strategies of distinction and of social ascension. It also highlights the role of geographical knowledge in conveying a peculiar discourse on royal might and imperial ambitions. The reconstruction of the courtly sociabilities revolving around Coronelli's great globe casts light not only on how the taste for geographical knowledge was as political as it was social but also how it characterized the learned king, the good courtier or the educated gentleman. My thesis thus reveals the importance of globes as objects of social distinction and how Coronelli's globes, in particular, magnify this dynamic. Globes stand at the heart of interwoven learned, courtly and political sociabilities, and contributed significantly to the composition of the geographical imaginaries of their owners and viewers.

As a scientific artefact of monumental dimensions shown in Marly to a select group of visitors in the privileged place of expression of absolute power, the terrestrial globe and its careful description and analysis by François Le Large allow me to situate geographical knowledge in the symbolism of the reign of Louis XIV, who used the surface of a globe to stage and materialise a discourse legitimating the imperial ambitions of a sovereign presented as the protector of the arts and sciences.

Outside EUI premises - Via Zoom DD/MM/YYYY
  Outside EUI premises - Via Zoom

Registration is required: this thesis defence will be held online via Zoom. Should you wish to attend, please contact [email protected]

Abstract by Martin Vailly:

My doctoral thesis explores the constitution of the geographical cultures of the French elite and courtiers at the end of the reign of Louis XIV, from 1680 to 1720. It is rooted in the social history of science and the historical anthropology of knowledge and starts from both the study of Vincenzo Coronelli's globes, their circulation in the cabinets of curiosities, and the work of François Le Large, the guard of the king's globe in Marly. The scope of my study encompasses two different yet complementary types of places of geographical practice: the court of Louis XIV where a pair of large cosmographic globes were exhibited and the different places of scholarly work, such as libraries, cabinets and gardens. Through the analysis of the constitution of geographical knowledge, how it was represented on the surface of terrestrial globes, how it was discussed and appropriated by amateurs of geography, I highlight the importance of geographical knowledge in the social, political and cultural life of early modern France.

The examination of the work and persona of François Le Large offers a fresh perspective on how the constitution and access to geographical culture interact with strategies of distinction and of social ascension. It also highlights the role of geographical knowledge in conveying a peculiar discourse on royal might and imperial ambitions. The reconstruction of the courtly sociabilities revolving around Coronelli's great globe casts light not only on how the taste for geographical knowledge was as political as it was social but also how it characterized the learned king, the good courtier or the educated gentleman. My thesis thus reveals the importance of globes as objects of social distinction and how Coronelli's globes, in particular, magnify this dynamic. Globes stand at the heart of interwoven learned, courtly and political sociabilities, and contributed significantly to the composition of the geographical imaginaries of their owners and viewers.

As a scientific artefact of monumental dimensions shown in Marly to a select group of visitors in the privileged place of expression of absolute power, the terrestrial globe and its careful description and analysis by François Le Large allow me to situate geographical knowledge in the symbolism of the reign of Louis XIV, who used the surface of a globe to stage and materialise a discourse legitimating the imperial ambitions of a sovereign presented as the protector of the arts and sciences.


Location:
Outside EUI premises - Via Zoom

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Thesis defence

Defendant:
Martin Vailly (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Examiner:
Stéphane Van Damme (EUI and Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris)
Juan Pimentel (Spanish National Research Council)

Supervisor:
Jorge Flores (European University Institute)

Co-Supervisor:
Christian Jacob (EHESS)

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