family friendly festival

Festival of Art History 2024

Du 31 May
au 2 June

13th edition | Guest country: Mexico | Theme: Sport

For this 13th edition of the Festival of Art History, come and enjoy more than 200 free events over three days at the Chateau and in the surrounding partner places to discuss the theme of climate and Belgium’s ancient and contemporary artistic productions. The castle will be accessible free of charge for the duration of the festival.


The Festival of Art History 

A national event of the Ministry of Culture and organized by the Château de Fontainebleau and the Institut national d’histoire de l’art, the Festival of Art History is an annual three-day event that brings together the public around nearly 300 events with free and open access, around a theme and a country in the spotlight.

The festival offers conferences, debates, book presentations and round tables, as well as film screenings, concerts, readings, guided tours, activities for families and children, with the aim of making visitors discover, deepen and share art and its history. The Festival of Art History is for everyone, curious or passionate, young and old alike.

Sport and Mexico in the spotlight

In 2024, the guest country is Mexico and the theme will be Sport.

Festival-goers are invited to discover Mexico’s ancient and contemporary artistic production as well as its museum and heritage policy. In this Olympic year, the unifying theme of Sport has been selected. Researchers, curators, artists, professionals from the art world, publishers, students, from France, Mexico and elsewhere, will be there to share with festival-goers their knowledge about the arts, retrace the history of images and objects and reveal their meanings, transmit their passion and their professions.

Guided tours

Throughout these three days, the Château de Fontainebleau will offer guided tours allowing the public to discover its exceptional heritage. The curators of the Chateau, the student guides of the École du Louvre as well as the tour guides and the various professionals of the Chateau will shed a special light on the decorations and collections of the Chateau through the prism of Sport and Mexico.

  • Imperial Theatre
    Inaugurated in 1857, this jewel of the Second Empire was designed by architect Hector Lefuel at the request of Napoleon III. Recently restored, the Theatre reveals all the richness and delicacy of its décor.
    Guide-lecturer of the Château de Fontainebleau

Friday 31 May, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June, continuously, from 10 am to 12.30 pm and from 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm


  • The Emperor’s Small Apartments
    Away from the ceremonial rooms, discover the Small Apartments, spaces devoted to the private life of Emperor Napoleon 1st and his successive wives, Joséphine and Marie-Louise.
    Guide-lecturer of the Château de Fontainebleau

Friday, May 31 at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.


  • Madame de Maintenon’s Apartments
    If there was ever a queen who lived a romantic life, it was Françoise d’Aubigné! This place, opened exceptionally, has kept this name in memory of its illustrious occupant and the events that took place there in the seventeenth century. A visit to this apartment will take you back in time and discover the famous people who have lived there.
    Guide-lecturer of the Château de Fontainebleau

Friday, May 31, at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Saturday, June 1 at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Sunday, June 2 at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

  • Visit to the restored Golden Gate
    On the occasion of the restoration of the Golden Gate

Built under François I from 1528, the Golden Gate is the first royal entrance to the Chateau until the 16th century and is one of the rare artistic testimonies of the Renaissance. Combining gilding, sculptures and paintings, this door is a complete masterpiece that we invite you to (re)discover during its restoration.
Guide-lecturer of the Château de Fontainebleau

Friday, May 31 at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Saturday, June 1 at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Sunday, June 2 at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

As part of the partnership between the Ecole du Louvre, the Château de Fontainebleau and the INHA. These will be one-hour tours, led by graduate students from the École du Louvre. Visits are available by booking at the kiosk in the Cour d’Honneur.

  • The founding myths of the Olympic Games at the Château de Fontainebleau
    The Olympic Games have their origins in myths. But who created them? Where does the practice of flame come from? What influence did Antiquity have on our current games? Through the maze of the Chateau, discover how mythology fits into the contemporary reality of our sport practice.

Jeanne Logel (École du Louvre)

Friday, May 31, at 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, at 10 a.m.

  • The staging of physical practice in gardens: an art at the service of power
    In Fontainebleau, physical exercise is not just a game, it’s an art! And where there is art, there is an audience! Discover the gardens, real vegetal theaters that host games, tournaments and dances of all kinds, contributing together to glorify the reign of the kings of France who walked the ground.

Coline Janon (École du Louvre)

Saturday, June 1, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m.


  • Castle, garden, forest: three definitions of sport
    Come and explore the gardens of Fontainebleau. From the Chateau to the forest, discover how outdoor court play has given way to our current sports practices. The three areas of the estate give rise to different physical activities, which respond to and complement each other.

Alix Potier (École du Louvre)

Friday 31 May, at 2.30 pm

Sunday, June 2, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.


  • Shaping sport: an art
    Did you know that when you play sports, you have the soul of a courtier or a Greek god? To please oneself, to please others, to surpass oneself or to transform oneself, sport is a real art of living. Come and discover it by “practicing” your eyes with us at the Chateau!

Blandine Adam (École du Louvre), Anaëlle Trillot (École du Louvre)

Saturday, June 1, at 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 2, at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.


  • Body (s)culpt: Sport, a myth told by the arts
    Was the ideal of a healthy body and surpassing oneself born with aerobic emissions? Since ancient Greece, the place of sport in society has been questioned. Through a stroll through the castle, we will (re)discover the athletic stories of Achilles, Ulysses and Hercules.

Bérénice Gaupillat (École du Louvre), Eodez Le Peutrec (École du Louvre)

Saturday, June 1, at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Sunday, June 2 at 10:30 a.m.

  • Fontainebleau frescoes, Mexican muralism: crossed perspectives
    What do we have in common between the painters of the court of Francis I at Fontainebleau and the Mexican muralists of the twentieth century? All of them competed creatively to respond to the orders of their respective governments. Come and discover the unexpected links between two artistic movements in the service of power!

Bertille Cagnin (École du Louvre), Maxime Viande (École du Louvre)

Friday, May 31, at 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, 10 a.m.

  • Play and sport
    Play a game, win a point, win a round… Sport is all about play! From linguistic origins to the evolution of practices, discover the entanglements that link play and sport through this tour of the Palace.

Clémence Hirsch (École du Louvre)

Saturday, June 1, at 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 2, at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.


  • The effort at Fontainebleau: sports tour of the gardens
    Follow our two guides at a fast pace! We offer you a dynamic tour of the gardens retracing the history of physical effort at the Château de Fontainebleau. Hunting, dancing, swimming, playing jeu de paume… Discover the different sports hidden in the garden.

Louise Frémont-Debaene (École du Louvre), Romane Védrine (École du Louvre)

Friday, May 31, at 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 2, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

  • Fontainebleau, a playground for courtiers during the Renaissance
    Long before the development of sports, physical exercise was already a major dimension of the life of gentlemen. Play, grace and combat form the three pillars of the involvement of the princes’ bodies, in their education as well as in life in society! From acrobatics to duelling, dancing and playing jeu de paume, come and discover the courtiers’ sports and their ancient inspirations.

Alice de Lagarde (École du Louvre), Célia Rameau (École du Louvre)

Friday, May 31, at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 1, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m.

  • Free outreach by students of the Ecole du Louvre
    As part of the partnership between the Ecole du Louvre, the Château de Fontainebleau and the INHA. Do you have a question? Art history students are in the castle to answer your questions and provide you with explanations!

Friday 31 May, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June


Festival de l'histoire de l'art : printemps 2024 au château de Fontainebleau

The theme for 2024 is Sport. While sport has always been a subject of choice for artists, art history has taken such a close interest in it recently. Against the backdrop of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, participants will debate the representation of the sporting body, effort, competition, the places in which sport takes place and the visual universe it generates. Whether it is ancient Olympia or Mexico City 1968, the purpose will be giving a historical and artistic depth to the sports disciplines that will be practiced, shown and commented on in the coming months.

This year, the festival also takes you to another continent. For the first time, a Latin American country, Mexico, is in the spotlight. Thanks to the participation of a large delegation of Mexican artists, art historians and heads of cultural institutions, the FHA24 will be an opportunity to make better known the artistic richness of this country with its thousand museums and living popular arts.

The programme of conferences, debates, round tables and screenings will be accompanied by artistic and musical performances. It will give an account of the important place occupied by the arts in Mexico, from the pre-Hispanic period to the most current creation, including the key figures of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Going beyond stereotypes, the festival will also question the cultural debates that cross this country, from the counter-movements of the 70s to the demands of indigenous communities today. 

Le salon du livre du Festival de l'histoire de l'art sera toujours présent pour l'édition 2024

Book & Art Review Fair

Since its inception, the Book & Art Review Fair has been an essential component of the festival. Led by the GrandPalaisRmn, this year it will bring together nearly a hundred publishing houses in the Henri IV courtyard of the Chateau. With the aim of promoting and disseminating publications in the field of art history and the humanities, the fair will reflect the diversity of approaches and highlight the work of authors, translators, publishers and booksellers.

Rendez-vous aux jardins

For this 21st edition of Rendez-vous aux jardins, come and (re)discover the exceptional plant heritage of the Château de Fontainebleau on the theme “The five senses in the garden” on May 31, June 1 and 2. Many workshops and visits will be offered on this occasion.

Discover the history of the palace through the gardens

From one courtyard to another, discover the major stages of construction of the castle and gardens, their histories, the technical challenges faced by the architects, and their evolution over the centuries.

Guide-lecturer of the Château de Fontainebleau
Friday, May 31, at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Saturday, June 1, at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 2, at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Visit the gardens of the Château de Fontainebleau with a gardener

As part of the Rendez-vous aux jardins event

The English Garden is an exceptional setting to discover the art of gardening, the richness of its nature and the essential role it plays in our well-being.

Guided by an art gardener from the Château de Fontainebleau, you will discover this exceptional garden, its ecosystem, its species, its flora and fauna, its colors and shapes. He will share his knowledge and know-how, as well as the importance of preserving its biodiversity.

Laurent Pinon (jardinier d’art du Domaine National de Fontainebleau)

Samedi 1er et dimanche 2 juin à 10h30

Tickets for guided tours and workshops are distributed at the kiosk in the main courtyard of the Chateau.



Once again this year, the festival is joining forces with the City and the Municipal Theatre of Fontainebleau to offer a concert. On Saturday, June 1st, the group Kumbia Boruka will perform, which for the past 10 years has been rocking the international stages to the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of cumbia that is danced in the working-class neighborhoods of Mexico’s major cities.

The festival will also be an opportunity to present you the achievements of many classes in the Fontainebleau region, as well as the media libraries of Maisons-Alfort as part of the artistic and cultural education programs carried out by the Château de Fontainebleau and the INHA, on the theme of Sport and Mexico. Students from the “Orchestre à l’école” association, as well as those from the Conservatoire national de musique et de danse de Paris, will perform original musical performances in the gardens and the Ballroom.

May 31, June 1 and 2, 2024
The admission to the Chateau, the exhibitions and the activities are free of charge.
Find the full programme on

Discover the Chateau and gardens in a different way

Every day, the palace offers many guided tours, allowing you to discover the secrets and historical anecdotes of this royal palace. Small Apartments, the Empress Eugenie Museum, the Imperial Theatre… Access exceptional spaces that will amaze young and old alike!

Depending on the seasons and your desires, discover the gardens through unforgettable experiences. Whether it’s a horse-drawn carriage ride, a trip on a little train, boating, or a visit to the Jeu de Paume hall, choose the activity that suits you.

You can also enjoy the restaurant Les Petites Bouches de l’Empereur, the Café des Mariniers as well as a wide choice of take-away meals for big and small appetites.

Ticket blanc

Tickets and prices

Online Ticketing

Online Ticketing

Opening hours

The chateau

The chateau is open every day except Tuesday, January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

From October to March: 9.30 am to 5 pm (last access at 4.15 pm).

From April to September: 9.30 am to 6 pm (last access at 5.15 pm).

The park and gardens are open, under the usual conditions, free of charge.

The restaurant is open every day for lunch.

Coming to the chateau

    Calcul de l'itinéraire jusqu'au Château de Fontainebleau