The Mythology Lovers Guide to Versailles Gardens

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The Republic of Venice had a monopoly on their manufacture. He convinced a few Venetian glassmakers to come to France to design the mirrors for Versailles The Hall of Mirrors is 73 metres The Hall of Mirrors contains 17 mirror-clad arches that reflect 17 arcaded windows. Each arch contains 21 mirrors, for a total of The ceiling contains 30 paintings by Le Brun that portray the military and diplomatic victories of Louis XIV achieved from Versailles became the stage, and Louis XIV the master of spectacle.

joana vasconcelos at versailles

He made it a requirement that his nobles spend time each year at Versailles. On any given day, 3,, courtiers could be present at Versailles. People gathered in the Hall of Mirrors on a daily basis in order to catch a glimpse of the King as he made his way from the State Apartments to the Royal Chapel. Louis XIV gave the impression that a King was constantly visible and accessible.

Then those with the right to see the King in his dressing gown seated in a chair would be given admittance. Finally, the entire court would enter as he was being dressed. By the end of the ceremony, almost people would be in the room. The same ceremony took place in the evening, but in reverse, with the crowd eventually dwindling to those privileged few who had the right to see the King in bed. All favours of land, titles, offices, pensions, etc. Strict rules of court etiquette served to establish and maintain a hierarchy that held him at the top.

Prestige, rank, and appearance were crucial. Extravagance was compulsory.

Versailles in Photos – A Regal Experience

Louis XIV reasoned that if he kept all of the powerful people in his country at Versailles and focused all of their attention on him and made them compete with each other for his favour , then they would be too busy to scheme against him. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer! By doing this, Louis XIV prevented regional concentrations of power that could have effectively challenged his own.

Louis XIV reigned for an impressive 72 years. His predecessors would increasingly retreat from living such a public life, and alienate their noble supporters in the process. Nonetheless, she did have a powerful influence on the King and was one of his closest advisors. The design for the chapel incorporates gothic architecture and baroque decoration, and has a two-floor layout that is similar to the Palatine Chapel in Aachen, Germany which was built for Charlemagne around C.

He had it placed on the second floor, overlooking the Marble Courtyard, and backing against the Hall of Mirrors. Louis XIV passed away on September 1, His reign of 72 years was so long that he survived his son Louis, the Grand Dauphin who died in at the age of 49 , and his grandson, Louis the Petit Dauphin who passed away in at the age of He was succeeded by his great-grandson, Louis XV.

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The figure of a young Maria Theresa in this painting with her wide hooped dress inspired an art installation that appeared on the streets of Madrid which Neil and I got to see when we were there! Sculptor Antonio Azzato designed the Meninas and recruited a group of artists, fashion designers, and singers to help decorate them.


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The Meninas were auctioned off for charity in July See my post on the Louvre for more information about that project. In one of the episodes of the poem, the knight Ruggiero arrives on an enchanted island that belongs to the magician Alcina and her sister Morgana. Alcina falls in love with Ruggiero and casts a spell on him to keep him on the island.

The ballet called for over costumes, designed by Henri Gissey. Louis XIV played the role of the rising sun dressed in golden feathers. This was an official position that came with its own apartments. Of course, a chief mistress does not mean the only mistress.


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  6. Louis XIV had relations with at least two dozen other women. To compensate her for this, a dowry of , gold crowns was promised, but never actually paid, to Louis XIV. This sounds like war! Louis XIV and his armies quickly conquered the Hapsburg-controlled Spanish Netherlands present-day Belgium and other surrounding territories. Louis XIV wanted to conquer as many Spanish territories as possible. He planned to use them as bargaining chips for peace negotiations.

    He knew that France was no match for this coalition.

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    He was angered by this result. Tensions would lead later to the Franco-Dutch War of The Grand Entertainment of July was meant to paint a bright, victorious face on what could have been otherwise considered a military and political disappointment. Charles II named Philip of Anjou as his successor. So the second son is up!

    Of course, other European countries were not a fan of having the Spanish throne in the hands of the French as that would have meant a major power imbalance. So this kicked off the War of the Spanish Succession Philip V of Spain ruled from , and then again from with a brief seven month interruption in which his son, Louis I, ruled until he died of smallpox. The three wings of the chateau neuf contained three separate floors. Compare that with the 2.

    When Constant was released in , the family moved to the island of Martinique in the west Indies. She was then educated in a convent. This led to her meeting Louis XIV, who was initially put off by her strict religious disposition. His feelings had softened by , when he gave her a title—the Marquise de Maintenon. Soon after, Madame de Montespan left court. She was also kind to Maria Theresa who, for years, had been rudely treated by Madame de Montespan. Made with. June 24, And the streams of water that come from their mouths may be imagined as bearing the words of the fable they represent.

    There are a great number of fountains, forty in all, each different in subject, and of a style of decoration that blends with the surrounding verdure. At the entrance to the Maze is a bronze statue of Aesop himself--the famous Mythologist of Phrygia. To appreciate the engineering skill of the directors of fountain construction at Versailles it must be remembered that it was from an arid plateau that hundreds of streams were made to spring from the earth. Thousands of laborers were employed to lay beneath the surface of the ground a net-work of canals and aqueducts to receive the tribute of water-courses directed hither from distant sources.

    The waters were finally pumped into immense reservoirs adroitly dissembled on the roofs of buildings overlooking the park. From these tanks a maze of pipes carried the water to thickets, grottoes, basins, fountains and canals. Nothing could surpass the ingenuity with which all this was contrived. The play of water directed to the Basin of the Mirrors reappeared later in the Baths of Apollo and the Fountain of the Dragon. Flowing in turn among successive pools and ornamental groups--branching hither and yon in the gardens, the stream attained its full display in the most majestic effect of all, the Basin of Neptune.

    This immense basin, surrounded on the side toward the chateau by a handsome wall of stone, and on the other by an amphitheater of turf and trees,--a vast half-circle, in the center of which stands a marble statue of Renown, is simple in conception and imposing from its size. The richly carved lead vases which adorn the wall were gilded under the Grand Monarch, and each throws a jet of water to a great height. Dangeau tells us that His Majesty saw the waters play here for the first time on the 17th of May, , and that he was quite content.

    However, Neptune had not then appeared in the basin that now bears his name; for the large groups of Neptune, the Ocean, and the Tritons, which ornament the base of the wall at present, were not put in place until , in the reign of Louis XV. A vast avenue, interrupted by many fair reaches of water, stretched its level length before the windows of the Grand Gallery.