The French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici is a French artistic institution based in Rome . Conceived by the 1971 decree as an ideal place for Italian-French meetings, Villa Medici plays a decisive role in Roman and European cultural life : it participates in cultural and artistic exchanges, organizes exhibitions, concerts, conferences and seminars on topics relating to the arts, letters and their story.
The French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici was created in 1666 at the instigation of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Charles Le Brun and Gian Lorenzo Bernini and welcomed both Prix de Rome winners and fellows protected by the great French nobles. The young artists appointed by the king had the possibility of increasing their training thanks to the contact with Rome and Italy.
Before finding its definitive location in the Villa Medici in Rome in 1803, the French Academy in Rome had several locations.
In 1961 André Malraux appointed the painter Balthus director of the Villa: the joint will of these two personalities allowed a profound reform of the Academy. Balthus undertook a major restoration of the building and organized events to open the Villa to the Romans. This new approach was ratified with a 1971 decree, which sanctioned the autonomy from the Académie des Beaux Arts . The length of stay increased from four to two years at most, and writers, filmmakers, photographers, set designers, art restorers and art historians expanded the circle of fellows.
Today the French Academy in Rome welcomes artists and researchers in residence to allow them to carry out their research projects.
It also offers an interesting cultural programme, organizing exhibitions, concerts, screenings, literary meetings and conferences.
He also takes care of conserving and promoting Villa Medici and its gardens.