Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres
French learned society devoted to the humanities, founded in February 1663 as one of the five academies of the Institut de France.
The Académie originated as a council of five humanists, "scholars who were the most versed in the knowledge of history and antiquity": Jean Chapelain, François Charpentier, Jacques Cassagne, Amable de Bourzeys, and a M. Douvrier. The organizer was King Louis XIV's finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Its first name was the Académie royale des Inscriptions et Médailles, and its mission was to compose or obtain Latin inscriptions to be written on public monuments and medals issued to celebrate the events of Louis' reign. However, under Colbert's management, the Académie performed many additional roles, such as determining the art that would decorate the Palace of Versailles. [Wikipedia]