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[Le Studium Conferences] The Economics of Spectacle. Funding the Ephemeral Arts in Early Modern Europe

Date: 8 Juin 2023 au 10 Juin 2023

Lieu: Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours



The Europe of Renaissance and early modern era saw the emergence of an increasingly organized system of production and consumption in the performing arts, whether for the celebration of civic and court festivals, or in the contexts of academies and confraternities, finally with the advent of impresarios and professional theatre companies of actors.

While more and more specialized professions appeared, their economic impact, to a large extent, remains to be studied. Indeed, although the festival culture of Renaissance Europe has been explored from many angles, there is still a lack of studies on economic issues, which are generally left in the background.

In an attempt to fill this lacuna, this conference seeks to explore the economic management of the performing arts during the early modern period (theatre, music, dance, scenography and ephemeral architecture) both from a practical and a theoretical perspective – the former by studying the sources, handling, and distribution of expenditure on these events, and the latter by interrogating the social, cultural, and economic capital invested in, and gained by, ephemeral consumption.

Alongside theatre historians and musicologists, this conference brings together scholars working in the fields of art history and architecture, literature, and history who have either engaged with the production of spectacular events or studied the many professions associated with them.

The economic management of the performing arts raises a number of key political, moral, religious and social questions for the period. The aim of the papers is to identify common problems and their possible solutions, as well as to pave the way for a study of spectacle economics at an interdisciplinary and European level.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101027860.


  • Dr Francesca Fantappiè, LE STUDIUM Guest Research Fellow / MSCA Individual Fellowship FROM Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies – IT IN RESIDENCE AT Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance (CESR)  / CNRS, University of Tours – FR
  • Prof. Philippe Canguilhem Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance (CESR)  / CNRS, University of Tours – FR

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