The Johnston Collection

INSTRUCTING HERSELF BY FAD OR FANCY: Learned Women in Regency Paris with Belinda Scerri

This lecture will explore lush visual and textual portraits of these learned women; their town homes and chateaux; and the idiosyncratic collections contained therein.

Artist Talks

Event Details


Artist Talks

Event Starts

Sep 6, 2024 10:00

Event Ends

Sep 6, 2024 11:30


The Johnston Collection


Please see ticket for details.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, women’s engagement in collecting and connoisseurship became a means not only to express taste but also to fulfil aspirations for greater social power. Louise-Bénédicte de Bourbon, duchesse du Maine (1676–1753) and Jeanne-Baptiste d’Albert de Luynes, comtesse de Verrue (1670–1736) were renowned women of learning in regency Paris. They stimulated arts patronage, and their homes became the nexus of a new mode of social interaction.  And yet, despite their determination to establish themselves as leading lights of the intellectual salons, these two women were more frequently lauded for their physical attributes and personal charm than for their intellectual achievements.   

Belinda Scerri teaches Art History in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. Her research examines critical ornament in early-eighteenth-century secular French architecture and decoration. Belinda is a fellow of the Centre of Visual Arts and of the UCLA Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies.

This program is supported by The Colin Holden Charitable Trust.

Your ticket includes tea or Market Lane coffee served before the lecture, and time to browse our exclusive range of books, gifts, and homewares at TJC Emporium.

This lecture is presented on-site at The Johnston Collection. Please see your ticket for details. NOTE: Tickets for this event do not include access to our exhibition-house, Fairhall. Guided tours of the current exhibition can be booked separately.

Image: François de Troy, The Astronomy Lesson of the duchesse du Maine, c.1702. Musée Départemental de Sceaux, Sceaux.

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