The Paris Short Course

Court Culture and the Horse 1700-1900

Versailles, Chantilly, and Compiègne


October 6 – 11, 2024


This six-day short course will explore the central role of horses, ceremonial carriages and grand stable complexes within French court culture during the long eighteenth century.  By connecting these objects and spaces with their immediate surroundings, we hope to reach a more nuanced understanding of their importance in French aristocratic life and of how this is reflected in the architecture, interiors and art collections of the palaces and chateaux we will be visiting.

The programme is planned to coincide with a major new exhibition entitled Cheval en majesté, au coeur d’une civilisation to be held at the Château de Versailles.  We will spend the first full day of the course visiting the palace, including the great and small stables, highly important spaces often overlooked by visitors.  From our hotel in the 19th arrondissement, we will travel by coach to the Château de Chantilly to study the spectacular eighteenth-century stables (the largest princely stables in Europe), the newly redisplayed Musée du Cheval, and the interiors and collections of the château.  A day will be spent at the Château de Compiègne, a palace built to indulge Louis XV’s passion for hunting and now also the home of the Musée Nationale de la Voiture, established in 1927, comprising the foremost collection of horse-drawn vehicles, harnesses and livery in France.  Other visits in Paris will explore smaller spaces with equine connections, including the cavalry department of the Republican Guard, who were responsible for protecting the Kings of France and who now play an important ceremonial role.

The course will be supported by a team of French experts, including senior curators from Versailles, Chantilly and Compiègne, who will enable privileged access and insights throughout.


For full course details and application instructions, please click the button below. You will be redirected to the Attingham Trust website.

Paris Short Course Information and Application

US-based applicants who wish to apply for scholarship assistance may do so through the button below.

Scholarship Application Form


Image Credit: Vue panoramic de Versailles avec les écuries royales au premier plan (detail), Versailles, Musee Lambinet.