Château d'Ainay-le-Vieil, portrait of Colbert in a château salon
Château d'Ainay-le-Vieil, twinned Domaine de Maryino, exterior view of sunny façade
Château d'Ainay-le-Vieil, twinned Domaine de Maryino, exterior view of sunny façade
Sliders-Colloque-Colbert-Portrait Charles Colbert de Croissy-1920x600
previous imageprevious image
next imagenext image

The State as one of the Beaux-Arts

The Colberts in the service of France


Saturday, September 24, 2022 - Château d'Ainay-le-Vieil

Download program

Download the registration form

Register online
(on cell phones, go to the bottom of the page and "Exit mobile version")

Ainay-le-Vieil tells the story of France, as its history shows that the château and its family have always been close to power and have played a part in events that have shaped the country.. Whether it's battles such as Bouvines, the 100 Years' War, the century of Louis XIV, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic epic or, more recently, the wars of the 20th century, Ainay tells the story of France within its walls and in its family memories: Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Queen Marie-Antoinette, Emperor Napoleon I and General Auguste de Colbert..

The château d'Ainay-le-Vieil, with its wealth of Colbert memorabilia, is a natural setting for this symposium, which is designed to highlight the role played by the Colberts in French history, in the politics of their time, and in the art that served political power. the role played by the Colberts in the history of France, in the politics of their time and in the art that served political power.

Its aim is to show, through the Colberts, the extraordinary richness and creativity of the arts in the 17th century, to deepen and compare the knowledge of specialists on the art of this period and to educate the public of amateurs and scholars who will participate in this study day.


9:15 am - Welcome coffee

9:30 - Welcome and thanks to speakers and participants from Marie-Sol de La Tour d'Auvergne Vice-President of the Fondation des Parcs et Jardins de France and President Emeritus of the French Heritage Society and Arielle Borneowner of Château d'Ainay-le-Vieil.

9:45 -Introduction by Dominique Brêmedirector of the Domaine départemental de Sceaux museum, Hauts-de-Seine department, symposium moderator.

I - Family, careers and social life

10 h - Joseph de Colberthistorian

The Colberts, a family success story. This paper highlights the role played by the Colbert family before and after
Jean-Baptiste Colbert became Louis XIV's chief minister.

10 h 40 - Ariane James-SarazinGeneral Curator of Heritage, Deputy Director of the Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Portraits of the Colberts and Colbertides: the other Versailles gallery. Unlike the Louvois-Le Tellier family, whose effigies are not plentiful, the Colberts and their relatives were regular clients, and thus supporters, even protectors, of the fabulous triad - François de Troy,
Nicolas de Largillierre, Hyacinthe Rigaud - who revolutionized the portrait genre between the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV. In this way, the political and cultural ambitions of an exceptional lineage were vindicated through images.

11 h 10 - Break


11 h 20 - Nicolas Sainte Fare GarnotHonorary Director of the Jacquemart-André Museum, Paris

Versailles versus Paris. Versailles was Louis XIV's grand affair, and no one doubts this, but it is less well known that this choice did not suit
Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and that he even tried to oppose it.

12 p.m. - Loÿs de Colbert, founder and administrator of the Colbert Foundation - Institut de France

The Colbert Foundation. Created on April 15, 2019 and housed at the Institut de France, the Colbert Foundation is dedicated to supporting economic, scientific, social and cultural projects in line with Colbert's legacy and focused on innovation in France.

12 h 30 - Lunch on your own

Find out more in the "Practical information" section, p.4 of the program.

II - Between Paris and Sceaux: the Colberts and the arts

14 h 30 - Bénédicte GadyCurator, Department of Graphic Arts, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris

Charles Le Brun and Jean-Baptiste Colbert at Saint-Eustache church. This paper will present Charles Le Brun's various interventions in the church of Saint-Eustache in Paris, where Colbert was a parishioner and churchwarden. It will identify a preparatory carton for the "Banière de Saint-Eustache", a processional banner that has now disappeared.

15 h 10 - Dominique BrêmeDirector of the Domaine départemental de Sceaux Museum, Hauts-de-Seine Department

Sceaux, Colbert's "Versailles". In 1670, the great Colbert purchased the seigneury of Sceaux. He quickly commissioned André Le Nôtre, Charles Le Brun, Jean-Baptiste
de La Quintinie and others to turn it into one of the most beautiful country "houses" on the outskirts of Paris. Colbert de Seignelay was to give it its full lustre. The story of a great project.

15 h 50 - Break

16 h - Céline Barbinheritage curator, Musée du Domaine départemental de Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, France

Sceaux: an open-air museum of sculpture. Although
Jean-Baptiste Colbert confessed to taking pleasure only in enriching his library, the decoration of his estates, foremost among them the grounds of his Château de Sceaux, bears witness to the indispensable role played by sculpture collections for a man of his standing.

16 h 40 - Alexandre GadyUniversity Professor, Director of the Musée du Grand Siècle, Hauts-de-Seine Department

From one Colbert to another. The Hôtel de Seignelay in the Faubourg Saint-Germain. Among the many "Colbert houses" in the capital, the one inhabited by his grandson on rue de Bourbon (now 80, rue de Lille) during the first half of the 18th century deserves a fresh look at its architecture and layout. This has been made possible by new archival research, as well as a major restoration project currently underway.

17 h 20 - Audience discussion

5:45 p.m. - Closing remarks by Dominique Brême.

Château d'Ainay-le-Vieil

The château, built on a Gallo-Roman site, was fortified as early as the High Middle Ages. It is located on the border zone between the Frankish and Aquitaine domains, and later between the French and English territories. This position gave the castle particular strategic importance right up to the end of the Hundred Years' War, and explains the size of its double enclosure, which has now disappeared. It was an important place for the kingdom, built in the 13th century and entrusted to the guard of people close to the kings of France:
Bourbon, des Barres, Sully, Culant.

In 1467, the Seigneurs de Bigny, who held important positions with King Louis XI, purchased Ainay. Around 1500, Claude de Bigny, governor of the Bastille, had a Renaissance-style dwelling built inside the walls, still strongly influenced by the Gothic style.
He decorated the interiors with magnificent fireplaces. In a tower, his son Gilbert created a Renaissance chapel with a coffered ceiling carved in stone, and murals showing the Seigneurs de Bigny and their wives in prayer. Scenes from the life of Christ attributed to Jean Boucher and his school date from the 17e.

Their descendants have lived in the château ever since.

Friends of the Troncais Forest logo on black background