École des Beaux-Arts (ākôlˈ dā bōzärˈ) [key][Fr., = school of fine arts], French national school of fine arts, on the Quai Malaquais, Paris, founded in 1648 by Charles Le Brun with the consent of Cardinal Mazarin as the Académie de peinture et de sculpture; the title was changed in 1793, when it merged with the Académie d'architecture, founded in 1671 by Jean Baptiste Colbert. It includes departments of painting, graphic arts, and sculpture and is free to artists whose previous training enables them to pass the entrance examinations. Architecture was taught at the school until 1968. Students are prepared in the various courses to compete for the Prix de Rome, which provides admission to the Académie de France à Rome. Besides its extensive collection of plaster casts of antiquities, the École is known for its superb collection of old-master drawings and for its exhibitions.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.