Prix de Rome

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This article is about the French government prize. For similarly named prizes aimed at other countries' nationals, see Prix de Rome (disambiguation).
Palazzo Mancini, Rome, the seat of the Académie since 1725. Etching by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 1752.
The Villa Medici as it looks today.

The Prix de Rome (pronounced: [pʁi də ʁɔm]) was a French scholarship for arts students, initially for painters and sculptors, that was established in 1663 during the reign of Louis XIV of France. Winners were given a bursary that let them stay in Rome for three to five years at the expense of the state. The prize was extended to architecture in 1720, music in 1803 and engraving in 1804. The prestigious award was suppressed in 1968 by André Malraux, the Minister of Culture.


The Prix de Rome was initially created for painters and sculptors in 1663 in France during the reign of Louis XIV. It was an annual bursary for promising artists having proved their talents by completing a very difficult elimination contest. The prize, organised by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture (Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture), was open to their students. From 1666, the award winner could win a stay of three to five years at the Palazzo Mancini in Rome at the expense of the King of France. In 1720, the Académie Royale d’Architecture began a prize in architecture. Six painters, four sculptors, and two architects[1] would be sent to the French Academy in Rome founded by Jean-Baptiste Colbert from 1666.

Expanded after 140 years into five categories, the contest started in 1663 as two categories: painting and sculpture. Architecture was added in 1720. In 1803, music was added, and after 1804 there was a prix for engraving as well. The primary winner took the "First Grand Prize" (called the agréé)[2] and the "Second Prizes" were awarded to the runners-up.

In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte moved the French Academy in Rome to the Villa Medici with the intention of preserving an institution once threatened by the French Revolution. At first, the villa and its gardens were in a sad state, and they had to be renovated in order to house the winners of the Prix de Rome. In this way, he hoped to retain for young French artists the opportunity to see and copy the masterpieces of antiquity and the Renaissance.

Jacques-Louis David, having failed to win the prize three years in a row, considered suicide. Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Ernest Chausson and Maurice Ravel attempted the Prix de Rome, but did not gain recognition. Ravel tried a total of five times to win the prize, and the last failed attempt in 1905 was so controversial that it led to a complete reorganization of the administration at the Paris Conservatory.

During World War II (1939–45) the prize winners were accommodated in the Villa Paradiso in Nice.[3] The Prix de Rome was suppressed in 1968 by André Malraux, who was Minister of Culture at the time. Since then, a number of contests have been created, and the academies, together with the Institut de France, were merged by the State and the Minister of Culture. Selected residents now have an opportunity for study during an 18-month (sometimes 2-year) stay at The Academy of France in Rome, which is accommodated in the Villa Medici.

The heyday of the Prix de Rome was during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.[4] It was later imitated by the Prix Abd-el-Tif and the Villa Abd-el-Tif in Algiers, 1907–1961, and later Prix d'Indochine including a bursary to visit the École des Beaux-Arts de l'Indochine in Hanoi, 1920–1939, and bursary for residence at the Casa de Velázquez in Madrid, 1929–present.

Winners in the Architecture category[edit]

The Prix de Rome in Architecture was created in 1720.

Eighteenth Century[edit]

Year Premier Prix Deuxième Prix Troisieme Prix Competition project
1720 Antoine Deriset An entry to a Doric palace
1721 Philippe Buache Guillot-Aubry Jean Pinard A plan of a church measuring 20 fathoms [40 feet] square
1722 Jean-Michel Chevotet Jolivet A triumphal arch
1723 Jean Pinard Pierre Mouret A mansion for a great nobleman
1724 Jean-Pierre Le Tailleur de Boncourt Pierre-Étienne Le Bon A high altar for a cathedral
1725 Pierre-Étienne Le Bon [5] Clairet A convent church
1726 François Carlier Aufrane Clairet A portal of a church
1727 François Gallot Joseph Eustache de Bourge Pierre Mouret A mansion for a great nobleman
1728 Antoine-Victor Desmarais Joseph Eustache de Bourge Quéau A chateau for a great nobleman
1729 Joseph Eustache de Bourge Devillard Quéau A cathedral
1730 Claude-Louis d'Aviler Pierre Laurent de Devilliard A triumphal arch
1731 Jean-Baptiste Marteau Pierre Rousset Courtillié A building 25 fathoms [50 feet] across
1732 Jean-Laurent Legeay de Mercy Pierre Rousset A portal of a church
1733 Jacques Haneuse Bailleul Jean-Baptiste Courtonne A public square
1734 Vattebled Pierre Laurent Lafond A high altar of a church
1735 Pierre Laurent Jean-Louis Pollevert Lindet A gallery with a chapel
1736 Jean-Louis Pollevert Maximilien Brébion Gabriel Pierre Martin Dumont A country house
1737 Gabriel Pierre Martin Dumont Lindet Datif Two staircases and a vestibule of a palace
1738 Nicolas Marie Potain Lancret Jean-Baptiste Courtonne A gallery with a chapel
1739 Nicolas Dorbay Maximilien Brébion Lecamus A great stable for a royal chateau
1740 Maximilien Brébion Cordier de Dreux A garden 400 fathoms [800 feet] long
1741 Nicolas-Henri Jardin Armand Bourdet A choir of a cathedral
1742 Armand Lecamus Bourdet A façade of a city hall
1743 Jean Moreau Cordier Brébion A garden 400 fathoms [800 feet] long
1744 No prize awarded, due to the low quality of entries
1745 Ennemond Alexandre Petitot Hazon (recorded as "Hazin") Deveau and Lelu A lighthouse
1746 Charles-Louis Clérisseau and Brébion J., ex-aequo Lelu and Nicolas de Pigage Turgis A mansion for a great nobleman
1747 Jérôme Charles Bellicard Giroux Lieutaut A triumphal arch
1748 Parvis Lelu Duvivier An exchange
1749 François Dominique Barreau de Chefdeville Julien-David Le Roy Pierre-Louis Moreau-Desproux A temple to peace
1750 Julien-David Le Roy Pierre-Louis Moreau-Desproux Charles De Wailly An orange garden
1751 Marie-Joseph Peyre Pierre-Louis Moreau-Desproux Pierre-Louis Helin A public fountain
1752 Charles De Wailly Pierre-Louis Helin Moreau A façade of a palace
1753 Louis-François Trouard Jardin A gallery 50 fathoms [100 feet] long
1754 Pierre-Louis Helin Billaudet Jardin An art salon
1755 Victor Louis et Charles Maréchaux, ex-aequo Boucart Rousseau A funereal chapel
1756 Henri-Antoine Lemaire Houdon An isolated chapel
1757 Competition canceled[6] A concert hall
1758 Mathurin Cherpitel[7] and Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin, ex-aequo Jacques Gondouin and Claude Jean-Baptiste Jallier de Savault[8][7] Houdon and Gérendo A pavilion at the corner of a terrace
1759 Antoine Le Roy Joseph Elie Michel Lefebvre Cauchois and Jacques Gondouin A horse-riding school
1760 Joseph Elie Michel Lefebvre Claude Jean-Baptiste Jallier de Savault Gabriel A parish church
1761 Antoine-Joseph de Bourge Boucher Antoine-François Peyre A concert hall
1762 Antoine-François Peyre Pierre d'Orléans Adrien Mouton A covered market
1763 Charles François Darnaudin Boucher Louis-François Petit-Radel A triumphal arch
1764 Adrien Mouton Pierre d'Orléans Naudin A school
1765 Jean-François Heurtier Boucu Paris A dome of a cathedral
1766 Jean-Arnaud Raymond Pierre d'Orléans Paris A portal of a cathedral
1767 Pierre d'Orléans[9] Le Moyne Marquis A customs house
1768 Jean-Philippe Lemoine de Couzon[9] Bernard Poyet Paris A theater
1769 Jacob Guerne[9] Lussault Paris A public festival for a prince
1770 Jean-Jacques Huvé[9] Renard Panseron An arsenal
1771 Not awarded A city hospital
1772 Claude-Thomas de Lussault and Jean-Auguste Marquis[10][9] Renard Nicolas-Claude Girardin A palace for the parent of a sovereign
1773 Jean Augustin Renard[11] Mathurin Crucy and Coutouly[10] Thierry and Herbelot[10] A pavilion for a sovereign
1774 Mathurin Crucy Bonnet Charles Joachim Bénard, Mineral baths
1775 Paul Guillaume Le Moine le Roman Louis-Étienne de Seine Doucet[12] Schools of medicine
1776 Louis-Jean Desprez Charles Joachim Bénard - A chateau for a great nobleman
1777 Louis-Étienne de Seine Guy de Gisors - A water tower
1778 First and second prizes carried over to 1779 - Public prisons
1779 Guy de Gisors[13] and Père François Jacques Lannoy Durand[13] and Barbier - An art museum
1780 Louis Alexandre Trouard Durand - A school on a triangular plot
1781 Louis Combes Moitte - A cathedral
1782 Pierre Bernard Cathala - A courthouse
1783 Antoine Vaudoyer Charles Percier - A menagerie
1784 Auguste Cheval de Saint-Hubert Moreau - A lazaret
1785 Jean-Charles Alexandre Moreau Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine[14] - A funereal chapel
1786 Charles Percier Louis-Robert Goust - A meeting house for all the Académies
1787 First and second prizes carried over to 1788 - A city hall
1788 Jacques-Charles Bonnard[15] and Jean Jacques Tardieu, ex-aequo Louis-Robert Goust and Romain[15] - A public treasury
1789 Jean-Baptiste Louis François Le Febvre Gaucher - A school of medicine
1790 No competition[16]
1791 Claude-Mathieu Delagardette Normand - A gallery of a palace
1792 Pierre-Charles-Joseph Normand Bergognion - A public market for a great city
1793 No first prize awarded Constant Protain - A barracks
1794 No competition[17]
1797 Louis Ambroise Dubut and Cousin, ex-aequo Éloi Labarre and Maximilien Joseph Hurtault - Public granaries
1798 Joseph Clémence Joseph Pompon - A maritime exchange
1799 Louis-Sylvestre Gasse and Auguste Henri Victor Grandjean de Montigny, ex-aequo Jean-Baptiste Guignet - A cemetery 500 meters long
1800 Simon Vallot and Jean-François-Julien Mesnager, ex-aequo Jean-Baptiste Dedeban and Hubert Rohault - An institute of sciences and arts or a national school of fine arts


  1. ^ Lee, S. "Prix de Rome", Grove Dictionary of Art online
  2. ^ Clarke, Michael. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, Oxford University Press, 2001
  3. ^ Moulin, Jean (2014). "Nice, cité-refuge ?". Conseil général des Alpes-Maritimes. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  4. ^ Lee, ibid
  5. ^ Though sent to Rome in 1741.
  6. ^ "After the students present for the architecture competition left, only eight returned to make an esquisse, but none were admitted to continue"
  7. ^ a b Carried over from 1757.
  8. ^ Noted as Jollivet.
  9. ^ a b c d e From 1767 through 1772, the winners of the Prix de Rome were deprived of the usual scholarship that funded their trips to Rome; this occurred because of the vengeance exacted by Abel-François Poisson de Vandières in an enormous abuse of his power. Having quarreled with the Académie d'Architecture, Poisson de Vendières sent his personal manservants instead to Rome instead of the winners of the Grand Prix.
  10. ^ a b c Carried over from 1771.
  11. ^ In 1773 the funding for the scholarship to Rome was reestablished for architects through the generosity of the Abbé Terray, successor of the Marquis de Marigny.
  12. ^ 1775 was the last year that a third prize (Troisieme Prix) was awarded.
  13. ^ a b Carried over from 1778.
  14. ^ Fontaine would never win the Prix de Rome; however, a space at the Mancini Palace opened up in 1787 due to the delay in awarding the prize for that year, and Fontaine became the resident pensionnaire, remaining in Rome until 1790.
  15. ^ a b Carried over form 1787.
  16. ^ "The projected entrants boycotted the contest by renouncing their status of students until the Académie adopted the changes they demanded in the old regulations.
  17. ^ From 1794-96 no competitions were held, since the Académies established by the Ancien Régime had been abolished by the Republican government. They were re-established by decree of 28 October 1796 under a new body known as the Institut de France.

Nineteenth Century[edit]

Year Premier Prix Deuxième Prix Troisieme Prix/
Honorable Mention
Competition project
1801 Auguste Famin Dedeban A forum
1802 Hubert Rohault de Fleury Bury A fairgrounds with exposition pavilion of products of industry
1803 François-Narcisse Pagot André Chatillon A maritime port
1804 Jules Lesueur André Chatillon A palace of a sovereign
1805 Auguste Guenepin Huyot Six houses for six families
1806 Jean-Baptiste Desdeban Louis-Hippolyte Lebas A palace for a legion of honor
1807 Jean-Nicolas Huyot Leclère Giroust[1] A palace for the education of princes
1808 Achille-François-René Leclère François-Auguste Jolly Public baths for Paris
1809 André Chatillon Grillon A cathedral
1810 Martin-Pierre Gauthier Vauchelet and Jacques Lacornée An exchange for a coastal city
1811 Jean-Louis Provost Renié A palace for a university
1812 Tilman-François Suys Baron Poisson[2] A private hospital
1813 Auguste Caristie Fedel and Landon A city hall
1814 Charles Henri Landon and Louis Destouches, ex-aequo Louis Visconti Vauchelet A museum and library
1815 Pierre Anne Dedreux Louis-Julien-Alexandre Vincent A technical college
1816 Lucien Van Cleemputte Jean-Baptiste-Cicéron Le Sueur A palace for the Institut [de France]
1817 Antoine Garnaud Abel Blouet A musical conservatory
1818 No first prize awarded Félix-Emmanuel Callet Desplans (mentioned) A public promenade
1819 Félix-Emmanuel Callet and Jean-Baptiste Lesueur, ex-aequo François Villain A cemetery
1820 François Villain Auguste-Théophile Quantinet and Émile Jacques Gilbert A medical school
1821 Guillaume-Abel Blouet Henri Labrouste A courthouse
1822 Émile Gilbert Fontaine and Jules Bouchet Léon Vaudoyer An opera house
1823 Félix Duban Alphonse de Gisors et Jean-Louis Victor Grisart A customs house
1824 Henri Labrouste Lépreux et Léon Vaudoyer Augustin Burdet A court of cassation
1825 Joseph-Louis Duc Felix Friès Dommey A city hall
1826 Léon Vaudoyer Marie Antoine Delannoy Dommey A palace for the Academy [of architecture] of France in Rome
1827 Théodore Labrouste François-Alexis Cendrier A natural history museum
1828 Marie Delannoy Bourguignon Abric A public library
1829 Simon-Claude Constant-Dufeux Pierre-Joseph Garrez A lazaret
1830 Pierre-Joseph Garrez Alphonse-François-Joseph Girard A house of entertainment for a prince
1831 Prosper Morey Jean-Arnoud Léveil A establishment for thermal waters


  1. ^ Medal of encouragement.
  2. ^ Troisieme Prix restored in 1812.

Winners in the Painting category[edit]

Winners in the Sculpture category[edit]

Winners in the Engraving category[edit]

The engravery prize was created in 1804 and suppressed in 1968 by André Malraux, the minister of Culture.

Winners in the Musical Composition category[edit]

After 1968, the Prix de Rome changed formats and the competition was no longer organised.


For a short while the Prix de Rome was also awarded to young artists during the Kingdom of Holland (today roughly Belgium & the Netherlands) under Lodewijk Napoleon. During the years 1807–1810 prize winners were sent to Paris and onwards to Rome for study. In 1817 King Willem I restarted the prize; though it took until 1823 before the new "Royal Academies" of Amsterdam and Antwerp could organize the juries. Winners (1807–1810):[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FAVANNE Henri Antoine de". Inventaire du département desArts graphiques. Musée du Louvre,. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Resource Library: Durameau, Louis-Jacques retrieved 25 October 2009 (English)
  3. ^ The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature, Pierre Bourdieu, p. 215, ISBN 0-231-08287-8, 1993, Columbia University Press
  4. ^ 1911 Encyclopedia
  5. ^ The Legacy of Homer: Four Centuries of Art from the Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Beaux-arts, Paris, 2005, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-10918-0
  6. ^ The New International Year Book, Published 1966. Dodd, Mead and Co. P 86
  7. ^ Biografia Visual Antonio Alice 1886 – 1943 (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Museo Roca – Instituto de Investigaciones Historicas. 2007. p. 6. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Reno Evening Gazette, 22 May 1939
  9. ^ Prix de Rome winners in RKD database

External links[edit]