PerformArt programme

Promoting, Patronising and Practising the Arts in Roman Aristocratic Families (1644-1740). The Contribution of Roman Families’ Archives to the History of Performing Arts

Consolidator Grant de l’European Research Council dans le cadre d’Horizon 2020

Project leader: Anne-Madeleine Goulet (CNRS) 

Schedule: September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2021


Rome, centre of Christianity and capital of the Papal States, dotted with churches and religious institutions, was also in the 17th and 18th  century the scene of conflict and intense rivalries between twenty great aristocratic families who could use the musical, theatrical and choreographic shows they organized to openly demonstrate their political positioning. This artistic production from the palaces and holiday villas of the nobility has been much less well studied than the artistic life of the papal court, the great theatres of the city or the main churches.

PerformArt was developed to enrich our knowledge of the history of shows in Rome among the Roman elites between 1644 and 1740, using the abundant documentation that constitutes the archives of eleven important families of the high aristocracy. It brings together several specialized archivists and international specialists from diverse and complementary disciplines already engaged in research themes linked to this micro-society.

This collaboration will ensure the updating and promotion, through a relational database, of original documents likely to shed light on social and artistic practices, the motivations and conditions of patronage, the material framework of artistic production, the status of the artist and his links of greater or lesser dependence on his protectors, and finally, the political, local and international scope of the engagement of these noble families in the artistic life of Rome.


Theatre; music; dance; performing arts; social history of shows; Rome; patronage; collections; history of nobility; family archives; family history; cultural transfers           



Key statistics

The team consists of 25 people:

  • 18 researchers,
  • 3 archivists,
  • 2 archival experts,
  • 2 administrative staff

Expected results

  • 12 interdisciplinary research seminar sessions, 9 of which will take place at the EFR
  • 2 study days linked to our research themes (in 2018 and 2019)
  • 1 international conference (September 2019)
  • publication of a special issue of MEFRIM
  • publication by Brepols of a collective, analytical and synthetic work on the history of the performing arts in Rome between 1644 and 1740
  • the PerformArt database will be put online in August 2021, which will gather all the significant data collected within the framework of the project


To contact the project team: formulaire de contact en ligne →

Page translated from French, 2021/01/11


Laboratoire International Associé (LIA)