Padua, Milan, Siena, Verona, Genoa, all have academies which publish transactions from time to time. The earliest academies of fine arts are also Italian. That of San Luca at Rome was established in 1593 by Federico Zucchero, who erected a building for it at his own expense. Academies of fine arts also exist in the principal cities of Italy.
II. French Academies. The earliest and greatest of the French academies, the Academie frangaise, was instituted in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, for the improvement and regulation of the national tongue. The number of its members was limited to 40. They met three times a week at the Louvre. The most remarkable claim of this academy to fame is the dictionary of the French language published in 1694, after 50 years consumed in debate upon the words to be inserted as good French. Many additions have been made to this in successive editions, the 6th and latest of which was published in 1805. This academy was ridiculed by the French wits on account of its subserviency to the court and its personal jealousies against rising men of genius. Moliere, for instance, was passed over. Boileau and Labruyere were only elected on the absolute command of Louis XIV. The witty Piron wrote his epitaph thus:
Ci-git Piron, qui ne fut rien, Pas meme academicioii.
The Academie francaise survived until it was abolished by the republican convention in 1793. The next of the French academies in date is the Academie de peinture et de sculpture, which was founded in 1648, received letters patent from Mazarin in 1655, and was abolished by the convention in 1793. The Academie royale des inscriptions et belles-lettres was instituted by Colbert under the patronage of Louis XIV. in 1663. At first it was called the Academie des inscriptions et me-dailles, consisted of four members of the Academie francaise, and was charged with drawing up inscriptions for the monuments erected by Louis XIV. and for the medals struck in his honor. It was remodelled and enlarged under its present name in 1701, and temporarily suppressed in 1793. The Academie royale des sciences was the last in date. It was organized in 1666 and entirely remodelled in 1699. In 1795 all these academies were revived in a new form by the directory, under the name of Institut national. Napoleon gave it a new organization in 1803, and called it the imperial institute of France. Louis XVIII, at the restoration, maintained the name Institut de France, but revived the old title academy for the component parts of the institute.
The institute consisted then of four academies: 1, l'Academie francaise; 2, l'Academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres; 3, l'Academie des sciences; 4, l'Academie des beaux arts. A fifth academy, l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques, founded in 1795, was suppressed at this time, but reestablished in 1832. As these five academies are the most important of the kind in the world at present, we add a particular description of their constitution. The institute numbers 233 full members, together with 7 secretaries; each of the members has a yearly salary of 1,500 francs, and the secretaries have 6,000 francs each. There are also 43 honorary academicians, who receive no pay, 32 associates, and 215 correspondents. The five academies bear the same relation to the institute that colleges do to a university. The Academie fran-caise consists of 40 members, elected after personal application, and submission of their nomination to the head of the state. It meets twice a week, and is the highest authority on everything appertaining to the niceties of the French language, to grammar, rhetoric, and poetry, and the publication of the French classics.
It distributes two annual prizes of 10,000 francs on the foundation of Count de Monthyon, one to the author of the best work on public morals, the other to the individual of the working classes who in the course of the year has performed the most virtuous action; an annual prize of 2,000 francs on the foundation of Baron Gobert, for the most eloquent work on the history of France; and every second year a present of 1,500 francs to a poor rising genius who needs encouragement. This last is a bequest of the marquis Maille-Latour Landry. The Academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres consists of 40 members, 10 honorary academicians, and 8 foreign associates; it has 50 corresponding members at home and abroad. It meets once a week. Its concern is with general history, the condition of peoples, laws, and manners, religious and philosophical systems; the study of chronology and geography, medals, inscriptions, and monuments of all sorts; and comparative philology, and explanation of ancient documents. This academy bestows a yearly prize of 2,000 francs for the best memoir contributed to its transactions, and another yearly prize for numismatics.
It superintends the publication of the following works: Memoires de l'academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, the collection of the papers which have been sent to it by learned investigators; Collection de notices et extraits des manuscrits de la bibliotheqve royale et autres bibliotheques publiques; Memoires sur les antiquites de la France; the continuation of the Histoire litteraire de France begun by the Benedictines of St. Maur; the Collection des histoires de France; the collection of the Histoires des croisades orientates, grecques et latines; edition of the Ordonnances des rois de France, also begun by the Benedictines; collection of the charters and documents relating to the history of France, the letters of the kings of France, and the catalogue of the charters. The conduct of the Journal des savants devolves chiefly upon this academy, although every member of all the academies can contribute. The Academie des sciences numbers 63 members, 8 foreign associates, and 100 corresponding members.
It bestows an annual prize of 3,000 francs for productions on natural science; three yearly prizes on Monthyon's foundation, for statistics, mechanics, and experimental physiology; a prize of 10,000 francs, founded by Lalande, for the most important astronomical discovery or observation, and another by the widow of the astronomer Laplace, for the best scholar of the polytechnic school. Many other rewards are in its gift, for scientific and industrial inventions, discoveries, and improvements. This academy publishes three series of Memoires. and, what is peculiar, holds its sessions in public, which are much frequented by the residents of Paris. The Academie des beaux arts consists of 40 members, 10 honorary academicians, and 10 foreign associates. It meets once a week. It superintends the competitive examinations for the yearly prizes, in reward of the best achievements in painting, sculpture, architecture, engraving in copper, and musical composition. It has its memoirs and transactions, and is busied in the discussion of the Dictionnaire general des beaux arts. The Academie des sciences morales et politiques numbers 50 members, 5 foreign associates, and 40 corresponding members.