Lancement du projet ERC CHROMOTOPE, 23/01/2020


The ERC Project CHROMOTOPE explores the changes that took place in attitudes to colour in the 19th century, and  notably how the ‘chromatic turn’ of the 1850s mapped out new ways of thinking about colour in literature, art, science and technology throughout Europe.

Britain’s industrial supremacy during this period is often perceived through the darkening filter of coal pollution, and yet the industrial revolution transformed colour thanks to a number of innovations like the invention in 1856 of the first aniline dye. Colour thus became a major signifier of the modern, generating new discourses on its pro-duction and perception.

The Victorian ‘colour revolution’ which has never been approached from a cross-disciplinary perspective, came to prominence during the 1862 International Exhibition – a forgotten, and yet key, chromatic event which forced poets and artists like Ruskin, Morris and Burges to think anew about the materiality of colour. Rebelling against the bleakness of the industrial present, they invited their contemporaries to learn from the ‘sacred’ colour of the past – a ‘colour pedagogy’ which later sha

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Venue: Salle des Actes, Sorbonne Campus – 54 rue Saint-Jacques – 75005 Paris

9.10 – 9.30: Welcome tea and coffee

9.30 – 9.45: Opening words:

  • Jean Chambaz, President of Sorbonne University
  • Alain Tallon, Dean of Sorbonne Université, Faculté des Lettres and Pascal Aquien, Vice-Dean for Research

9.45 – 10.00: Introduction: Short presentation of the project and its main objectives

  • Charlotte Ribeyrol, Principal Investigator of CHROMOTOPE, Faculté des Lettres, Sorbonne Université

10.00 – 10.25: Translating Colour in the 19th century

  • Stefano Evangelista, English Faculty, Oxford University
  • Claire Masurel-Murray, Faculté des Lettres, Sorbonne Université
  • Arnaud Dubois, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers/Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art, Limoges

 10.25 – 10.50: Colour Matters: New cross-disciplinary approaches to chromatic materiality

  • Kelly Domoney, Conservation Department, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University
  • Clotilde Ferroud, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers and Anne-Laure Carré, Musée des Arts et Métiers


10.50 – 11.10: Coffee break

11.10 – 11.40: Exhibiting Colour: Presentation of the international exhibition ‘The Colour Revolution: Art, Fashion and Design in Victorian Britain’, Ashmolean Museum, 2022

  • Colin Harrison, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University
  • Matthew Winterbottom, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University and Charlotte Ribeyrol, Faculté des Lettres, Sorbonne Université

11.40 – 12.00: Questions and discussion