Professors Caroline van Eck and Bénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson win 2013 Descartes-Huygens Prize

18 December 2013

Caroline van Eck and Bénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson will receive the Descartes-Huygens Prize in March 2014.  They have been awarded the prize for their outstanding research and their contribution to Franco-Dutch relations. The Descartes-Huygens Prize (EUR 23,000 for each recipient) is intended to cover the cost of a research residence in the Netherlands and France respectively.

Caroline van Eck

220x267-caroline-van-eckProfessor Caroline van Eck works at Leiden University, where she specialises in the History and Theory of Architecture and the Visual Arts to 1800. She has published widely on the role of rhetoric in observations of art. She is currently studying the integration of rhetorical and anthropological approaches to the role of art in society. She is also attempting to understand the universal human tendency to ascribe a living presence, agency and a biography to works of art, focusing in particular on eighteenth-century debates concerning the role of sculpture in the evolution of ancient religious belief systems and primitive societies.
Van Eck’s previous marks of distinction include two NWO grants (one a prestigious “Vici” grant) and funding awarded under the P.H.C. Van Gogh programme. The French jury had particular praise for the originality of her work.
The Descartes-Huygens Prize will enable Caroline van Eck to contribute to a seminar on Gottfried Semper (EHESS, Paris). It will also allow her to continue her research in Paris and to study cross-fertilisations between art history, archaeology and anthropology, in particular with regard to the presentation of works of sculpture in Paris museums.

Bénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson

220-267-benedicte-fauvarque-cossenBénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson is Professor of Private Law at the Université Panthéon-Assas. She has pioneered the development of legal instruments that make cross-border contracts possible. Her knowledge of both Continental and Anglo-American law enables her to bridge the gap between the two legal traditions.
Fauvarque-Cosson is an excellent legal scholar, according to the Dutch jury. By taking a leading role in various collaborative projects on national and transnational contract law, she has encouraged knowledge-sharing concerning French and Dutch contract law and has helped develop a uniform contract law.
The Descartes-Huygens Prize will enable Bénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson to participate in a partnership between the law faculties of Université Panthéon-Assas and Leiden University. Its aim is to harmonise European contract law and to develop a common frame of reference. Fauvarque-Cosson’s expertise, which spans national borders and legal traditions, will be invaluable to this project.

About the Descartes-Huygens Prize

The French and Dutch governments established the Descartes-Huygens Prize in 1995 to recognise researchers for their outstanding work and their contribution to Franco-Dutch relations. It is awarded on a rotating basis to researchers in the humanities and social sciences, the natural sciences, and the life sciences. The prize money (EUR 23,000) is intended to cover the cost of their research residence in the Netherlands and France respectively. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences selects the French candidate for the prize. The Dutch candidate is selected either by the Académie des Sciences or (if the prize is being awarded in the humanities and social sciences) by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques.