2017 marks a double anniversary, the bicentenary of Germaine de Staël’s death (Paris, 14 July 1817) and the 250th anniversary of Benjamin Constant’s birth (Lausanne, 25 October 1767).
This commemoration offers the ideal opportunity to highlight the remarkable work and tumultuous life of this pair, one of the most famous couples in the literary and political history of the French-speaking world. Pioneers of romanticism and liberalism, precursors of intimate writing, opponents of Napoleon, and major proponents of modernity and cultural diversity, Germaine de Staël and Benjamin Constant played a decisive role in the intellectual life of their time, the dawn of the 19th century.
To celebrate this double anniversary, the Fondation Martin Bodmer is delighted to welcome this exhibition created in collaboration with the Institut Benjamin Constant (Lausanne) and the Société des études staëliennes (Paris).
Thanks to a rich collection of objects (manuscripts, ancient books, paintings, engravings, documents), through the crossing of two fates, this exhibition shows a pivotal period in history in a new light, at a critical juncture in the future of Europe, between the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the First Empire and the Restoration.