Royal declaration on sculpture and painting, Paris (1777)

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Royal declaration on sculpture and painting, Paris (1777), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Declaration in favour of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture

Full title original language:
Déclaration en faveur de l'académie royale de peinture et de sculpture

Confronting the ancient Corporation of Saint-Luc, which after 1776 was no more than a simple professional guild of workers and artisans exercising the 'mechanical arts', Louis XVI sought to clarify the position of artists by this declaration of 15 May 1777 which, in its first article, solemnly proclaimed the liberty of art. What was actually meant by 'liberal arts' were those of painting and sculpture, which were to be exercised 'without any interference of commerce'. All counterfeiting, be it by engraving or by casting, was to be severely punished. Moreover, as was the case with the decrees of 1676 and 1714, these guarantees were exclusively restricted to the king's painters and sculptors, that is to members of the Royal Academy. Such acknowledgement of the freedom of the 'liberal' arts, on the one hand, and of artistic property, on the other, would seem to be a contradiction. In practice, though, the Academy was theoretically open to everyone, since there was no limit on the number of members. That is, as long as they had been trained at the Academy's special school!

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Related documents in this database:
1656: Privilege du Roy [Charles Le Brun]
1676: Decree on Sculptures
1714: Decree on Fine Arts
1790: Petition by the printmakers and proprietors of copperplates to the National Assembly, May
1794: Petition by citizen makers of plaster casts to the National Convention, 3rd March

Author: N/A

Publisher: Librairie de Plon frères

Year: 1777

Location: Paris

Language: French

Source: N/A

Persons referred to:
Francis I
Louis XIV
Louis XV
Louis XVI

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Parlement of Paris
Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (Paris)

Decree of the King's Council on the duration of privileges (1777)
French royal declaration on sculpture and painting (1777)
French royal decree prohibiting the copying of sculptures (1676)

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