Robert Wellington is a Senior Lecturer in art history at the Australian National University’s Centre for Art History and Art Theory and 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.