The Salon du Dessin which has organized an international Symposium every year around a theme since 2006, has decided to focus on the performing arts for two consecutive years, 2018 and 2019. 


This symposia was chaired by French academician Pierre Rosenberg and scientific director Michèle Sajous D’Oria, Professor at the university of Bari, italy.


The aim was to reflect on the specificity of the ephemeral practice that is performance: drawing as memory and/or the visual record of practices and habits of the stage, or more generally of the performance and theatrical life, such as set designs, architectural plans, portraits of actors, singers and dancers, sketches of stages, studies and a few rare drawings evoking music.


It was an opportunity to reveal collections of drawings relating to the performing arts conserved in museums and libraries, especially at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Département de la Musique et Bibliothèque-musée de l'Opéra, Département des Arts du Spectacle), at the Comédie-Française, the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris, the Louvre, and in foreign institutions, in Europe, especially in italy (the Certani collection of the Cini foundation in Venice), and in the USA.


This first year of a two year cycle was centred on the one hand on the presentation of collections and artists through emblematic works (from Bérain to Lacroix passing by Percier, Cicéri, Despléchin, Bakst, Larionov, Picasso, Léger, Masson, Pizzi) and on the other hand, on the study of the "gesture".


In 2018/2019, the symposium on "drawing and the performing arts" allowed us to discover works and artists but also to consider the questions that have arisen in recent years about the part that is now essential, played by visual sources in theatrical work.

The next cycle, in  2020 and 2021 will be devoted to the theme of gardens, with the Marseille Museums as guests.

2018 Symposium
Le Dessin et les Arts du spectacle : Le geste et l’espace
Tome 1 / Edition L’Echelle de Jacob - Publication December 2018
Price : 35 € VAT included

Purchase from Agence d’Evénements Culturels



Day 1

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

2:30 pm


Chair: Jean-Claude Yon
(Professor at the University of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines)
Palais Brongniart
Petit auditorium, 1st floor

  • Emmanuelle Brugerolles (Curator General at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris)
    Georges Focus and the Theater: Sets and Staging
  • Rudi Risatti (Curator at the Theatermuseum in Vienna)
    The Magic Space. Technical and Aesthetic Solutions in Baroque Scenography as Seen in Drawings from the Theatermuseum in Vienna
  • Marc-Henri Jordan (independent art historian, doctoral student, University of Lausanne)
    The Royal Academy of Music in Search of Draftsmen and Painters: Identification of Decorative Drawings and Clothing, circa 1780
  • Catherine Join-Diéterle (Curator General, former director of the Musée Galliera, Paris)
    Theater Sets in the Romantic Era: A New Approach to the Stage Area
  • Marine Kisiel (Painting Curator at the Musée d’Orsay)
    “A Unique System of Lines”: The Body in Space in the Work of Edgar Degas
  • Mathias Auclair (Director of the Music Department at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris)
    The Stage Seen as a Painting: The Birth of Scenography at the Paris Opera (1914-1972)

Day 2

Thursday, March 28, 2019

2:30 pm


Chair: Michel Delon
(Professor at the University of Paris-IV Sorbonne)
Palais Brongniart
Petit auditorium, 1st floor

  • Franca Varallo (Professor at the university of Turin)
    Onorato Tiranti’s Il Laberinto de Groppi and Drawings for Festivities by Tommaso Borgonio
  • Jérôme de La Gorce (Emeritus Research Director, CNRS- Centre André Chastel)
    Collections of drawings held in Paris and Madrid illustrating important celebrations of the marriage of Madame to the Infant of Spain (1739)
  • Maria Ida Biggi (Director of the Centro Studi per la Ricerca Documentale sul Teatro Europeo Fondazione Cini, Venice)
    Le feste sull’acqua. Apparati per Napoleone
  • Gaëlle Lafage (Postdoctoral Researcher. Université de Paris Sorbonne)
    Drawing as a source of study of fireworks
  • José de Los Llanos (Chief Curator, Head of the Musée Carnavalet’s Graphic art Department) and David Simonneau (Conservation Assistant, Musée Carnavalet Graphic art department)
    Festivals and Spectacles in the Collection of the Musée Carnavalet-Histoire de Paris (17th-19th Centuries)