Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Last updated

Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
L'OrdreDesArtsOfficier.jpg Chevalier arts et lettres.jpg
Insignia of an Officier and a Chevalier
Type Order of merit with 3 degrees:
Commandeur (Commander)
Officier (Officer)
Chevalier (Knight)
Awarded forSignificant contribution to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance
Presented by French Minister of Culture
Established2 May 1957
Website http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/artsetlettres/   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Commandeur ribbon.svg
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Officier ribbon.svg
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Chevalier ribbon.svg
Ribbon bars of the Order
Next (higher) Ordre du Mérite Maritime
Next (lower) Médaille des Évadés

The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres ('Order of Arts and Letters') is an order of France established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture. Its supplementary status to the Ordre national du Mérite was confirmed by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. Its purpose is the recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.


Its origin is attributed to the Order of Saint Michael (established 1 August 1469), as acknowledged by French government sources. [1] [2] [3]


To be considered for the award, French government guidelines stipulate that citizens of France must be at least thirty years old, respect French civil law, and must have "significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance".

Membership is not, however, limited to French nationals; recipients include numerous foreign luminaries. Foreign recipients are admitted into the Order "without condition of age".

The Order has three grades:

The médaille (medallion) of the Order is an eight-pointed, green-enameled asterisk, in gilt for Commanders and Officers and in silver for Knights; the obverse central disc has the letters "A" and "L" on a white-enameled background, surrounded by a golden ring emblazoned with the phrase République Française. The reverse central disc features the head of Marianne on a golden background, surrounded by a golden ring bearing the words Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The Commander's badge is topped by a gilt twisted ring.

The ribbon of the Order is green with four white stripes.

Members of the Order

Ray Bradbury 2009.jpg
Ray Bradbury wearing the Commander's badge in 2009
Partha Pratim Majumder.JPG
In 2011, Partha Pratim Majumder was made a Chevalier for his talent in mime.
Soumitra Chatterjee - Kolkata 2011-05-09 2856.JPG
Soumitra Chatterjee was honored in 1999 for his contribution in Indian cinema
Donald Sutherland - Monte-Carlo Television Festival.jpg
Donald Sutherland wearing the Commander's lapel pin

According to the statutes of the Order, French citizens must wait a minimum of 5 years before they are eligible to be upgraded from Chevalier to Officier, or Officier to Commandeur, and must have displayed additional meritorious deeds than just those that originally made them a Chevalier. However, in the statutes, there is a clause saying "Les Officiers et les Commandeurs de la Légion d'honneur peuvent être directement promus à un grade équivalent dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres". (Translation: "The officers and commanders of the Legion of Honour can be promoted directly to an equivalent grade in the Order of Arts and Letters".) This means that if someone were to be made Officier of the Legion of Honour, then the next year, that person could be directly made Officier of the Order of Arts and Letters and bypass a nomination as a knight and the five-year rule.

See also

Related Research Articles

The National Order of the Legion of Honour, formerly the Royal Order of the Legion of Honour, is the highest French order of merit, both military and civil. Established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, it has been retained by all later French governments and regimes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Médaille militaire</span> Award

The Médaille militaire is a military decoration of the French Republic for other ranks for meritorious service and acts of bravery in action against an enemy force. It is the third highest award of the French Republic, after the Légion d'honneur, a civil and military order, and the ordre de la Libération, a Second World War-only order. The Médaille militaire is therefore the most senior entirely military active French decoration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of Leopold (Belgium)</span> Belgian national honorary order of knighthood

The Order of Leopold is one of the three current Belgian national honorary orders of knighthood. It is the oldest and highest order of Belgium and is named in honour of its founder, King Leopold I. It consists of a military, a maritime and a civil division. The maritime division is only awarded to personnel of the merchant navy, and the military division to military personnel. The decoration was established on 11 July 1832 and is awarded by Royal order.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Imperial Order of the Dragon of Annam</span> Award

The Imperial Order of the Dragon of Annam was created in 1886 in the city of Huế, by Emperor Đồng Khánh of the Imperial House of Annam, upon the "recommendation" of the President of France as a jointly awarded French colonial order. The Order was designed as a reward for services to the state, the French colonial government, or the emperor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of the Netherlands Lion</span> Dutch order of chivalry

The Order of the Netherlands Lion, also known as the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands is a Dutch order of chivalry founded by King William I of the Netherlands on 29 September 1815.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of Adolphe of Nassau</span>

The Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau is an order of merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for meritorious service to the Grand Duke, the Grand-Ducal House and Luxembourg. It was founded in 1858 as a chivalric order of the Duchy of Nassau by Adolphe of Nassau in honor of his namesake and ancestor, Adolf, Count of Nassau, the only member of the House of Nassau to have been Roman King of Germany. After the Duchy of Nassau was annexed by Prussia in 1866 and Adolphe became Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1890, he revived the order as an order of merit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of the Holy Spirit</span> French order of chivalry

The Order of the Holy Spirit, is a French order of chivalry founded by Henry III of France in 1578. Today, it is a dynastic order under the House of France.

Commander, or Knight Commander, is a title of honor prevalent in chivalric orders and fraternal orders.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of La Pléiade</span>

The Order of La Pléiade is an honorary order of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. It recognizes people who particularly distinguished themselves in the service of its ideals of cooperation and friendship, promoting the role of the French language in their own countries or in the world. It was created in 1976 on initiative of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie.

<i>Ordre des Palmes académiques</i> National order bestowed by the French Republic

The Ordre des Palmes académiques is a national order bestowed by the French Republic on distinguished academics and teachers and for valuable service to universities, education and science. Originally established in 1808 by Emperor Napoleon as a decoration to honour eminent members of the University of Paris, it was changed into its current form as an order of merit on 4 October 1955 by President René Coty, making it one of the oldest civil honours bestowed by the French Republic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Collar (order)</span>

A collar also known as collar of an order is an ornate chain, often made of gold and enamel, and set with precious stones, which is worn about the neck as a symbol of membership in various chivalric orders. It is a particular form of the livery collar, the grandest form of the widespread phenomenon of livery in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. Orders which have several grades often reserve the collar for the highest grade. The links of the chain are usually composed of symbols of the order, and the badge of the order normally hangs down in front. Sometimes the badge is referred to by what is depicted on it; for instance, the badge that hangs from the chain of the Order of the Garter is referred to as "the George".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of Agricultural Merit</span>

The Order of Agricultural Merit is an order of merit bestowed by the French Republic for outstanding contributions to agriculture. When it was created in 1883, it was second in importance only to the Legion of Honour within the French order of precedence.

<i>Ordre du Mérite Maritime</i> Award

The Ordre du Mérite Maritime is a French order established on 9 February 1930 for services rendered by seafarers to recognise the risks involved and the services rendered by seamen, and reflect the important economic role of the Merchant Navy to the country. The order was reorganized in 1948, and again by decree on 17 January 2002.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Order of Tahiti Nui</span>

The Order of Tahiti Nui was established on 5 June 1996 by the Assembly of French Polynesia to reward distinguished merit and achievements in the service to French Polynesia.

The Republic of Senegal awards the following orders, decorations and medals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Laurent Hilaire</span> French ballet dancer (born 1962)

Laurent Hilaire is a French ballet dancer. Regarded as one of the greatest dancers to emerge from ballet over the past few decades, he was an étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet for 22 years. From 2011, he was the associate artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet and a ballet master with the company from 2005 to 2014. In 2017, he became the director of dance at Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre. He resigned in February 2022 over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In May, he was appointed the new director at Bavarian State Ballet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ordre national du Mérite</span> Order of State with membership awarded by the President of the French Republic

The Ordre national du Mérite is a French order of merit with membership awarded by the President of the French Republic, founded on 3 December 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle. The reason for the order's establishment was twofold: to replace the large number of ministerial orders previously awarded by the ministries; and to create an award that can be awarded at a lower level than the Legion of Honour, which is generally reserved for French citizens. It comprises about 185,000 members; 306,000 members have been admitted or promoted in 50 years.

The Order of Ivory Merit is the second highest honorary order of the Ivory Coast created in 1970, and is intended to reward distinguished merits acquired in a public, civil, military or private function.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ordre du Mérite combattant</span> French ministerial order, awarded from 1953 to 1963

The Ordre du Mérite combattant was a ministerial order of merit of France created on 14 September 1953 to reward individuals who distinguished themselves by their service and dedication in the management of the moral and material interests of veterans and war victims. These individuals' applicable service could be working in the Ministry of Veterans and War Victims or for organizations and associations who work for veterans. The order was administered and awarded the Ministry of Veterans and War Victims.


  1. "Conseil de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" [Council of the Order of Arts and Letters]. Ministère de la Culture (in French). Archived from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  2. Archives de France Archived 2013-04-16 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Mémodoc