Associate Professor Robert Wellington is Director of the Centre for Art History and Art Theory, at the Australian National University, co-editor of Humanities Research Journal, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He has published extensively in English and French on the art and culture of Louis XIV’s France.

Robert’s first book, Antiquarianism and the Visual Histories of Louis XIV: Artifacts for a Future Past (Ashgate, 2015), was described as ‘an engaging scholarly masterpiece…’ (Burlington Magazine, 2016). It is an academic book informed by deep archival research in France. In it he argues that the most famous palaces and works of art from the age of Louis XIV were part of an extraordinary project of history making. Those works of art weren’t just outrageously opulent possessions of a super-rich monarch. They were based on the latest academic research about the past in hope to guarantee the king’s eternal fame.

Recognised internationally as an expert on the arts of ancien-régime France, Robert has been a visiting professor at the prestigious Centre André Chastel in Paris and the Université de Quèbec à Montréal. He has a reputation as an engaging public speaker, and has presented numerous conference papers and invited lectures on the art of Louis XIV’s court around the world at venues including the Courtauld Institute, London, the John Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Frick Collection, New York, Institut Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Art, Paris, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, and the Château de Versailles.

The students of ANU selected Robert to deliver the ‘Last Lecture’ of the academic year in 2017, an honour that acknowledges his passionate commitment to teaching.

Robert is a member of the advisory panel to the Bloomsbury Academic book series, The Material Culture of Art and Design. He is Lead CI on the ARC Discovery Project, Performing Transdisciplinarity. Robert is an ARC DECRA fellow (2019-2022).

Robert is a self-confessed aesthete and Francophile. When he’s not working, you’ll probably find him scouring flea markets and online auctions for treasures. He is a passionate advocate for the fundamental place of art and beauty in our daily lives.

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Choix de Chansons: a digital critical edition. Editors: Christina Clark, Nicholas Cronk, Erin Helyard, Mark Ledbury, Glenn Roe, (Canberra; Oxford; Paris; Sydney: online publication, forthcoming 2020)


The Versailles Effect: Objects, lives and afterlives of the domaine.Co-edited with Mark Ledbury (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020).

Antiquarianism and the Visual Histories of Louis XIV: Artifacts for a future past. Single author monograph (Ashgate: 2015)

Articles and book chapters:

“American Versailles: from the Gilded Age to Generation Wealth,” in Mark Ledbury and Robert Wellington (eds), The Versailles Effect: objects, lives, and afterlives of the domain (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020).

“Metadata, material culture, and global art history,” in The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities and Art History (Routledge, 2020).

“Médailles en mouvement: la réception des médailles de Louis XIV à la croisée des cultures,” in Yvan Loskutoff (dir.) Le Médailles de Louis XIV et Leur Livre, trans. Y. Loskutoff, (Mont-Saint-Aignan, PURH, 2016).

“Lines of Sight: Israël Silvestre and the axial symbolism of Louis XIV’s gardens at Versailles,” Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes (November, 2016).

“Louis XIV’s Medals Cabinet at Versailles,” The Medal 67 (Autumn, 2015).

“The cartographic origins or Adam-Franz van der Meulen’s Marly Cycle,” in Print Quarterly 28, 2 (June, 2011).

New media:

“If I could go anywhere: Boughton House, ‘the English Versailles’ and its shimmering treasures,” The Conversation (14 August, 2021):

“Friday essay: In defence of beauty in art,” The Conversation (15 March, 2018):

“Going for Gold, Trump, Louis XIV, and interior design,” The Conversation (23 January, 2017):

Radio Interview: “Versailles and Trump,” Mornings with Genevieve Jacobs, ABC Radio 666 (2 March, 2017):—versailles-and-trump/8322252

” ‘A poor person’s idea of a rich person:’ Donald Trump’s gaudy taste” Sydney Morning Herald (13 March, 2017):

“Trump’s display of wealth, power falls short,” Canberra Times (13 March, 2017), 17.

Siobhan Heanue, “Donald Trump’s decor inspired by French king Louis XIV and the palace of Versailles,” ABC News (17 March 2017):

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