Category Archives: Chateau Versailles

A New Fountain

It is commonly believed that men lead in a dance; or at least generations of skillful female dancers gave us that impression; for in those dances where the sequence of steps is a bewildering multitude, men are commonly at a … Continue reading

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Louis XIV at the Haunted Palace

I’ve talked a little about ghosts and a lot about perfumes; but I have never mentioned how closely the two happen to be related: it goes back to 1654 and even earlier, so this is a Paris-Versailles, or rather Louvre-Versailles … Continue reading

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Mirror, M….

Jorge Luis Borges thought mirrors are evil because of their capacity to multiply the abominable. I think the XVII century mirrors look sinister, they are darker and deeper, were very expensive and made with quick silver. By the time an … Continue reading

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A Horse, a H….

This equestrian statue of Louis XV used to decorate la Place Louis XV — what today is known as la Place de la Concorde. The statue fell one of the first victims of the French Revolution. The small replica I … Continue reading

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His Majesty

Prior to the XVII century portraits like this one were rare; but if we consider the claim that a seated figure always represented authority, we may wonder why an iconography of such importance and universality had been so neglected, was … Continue reading

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Double Emotion

Charles Le Brun catalogs facial expressions: he raises eye-brows, lowers corners of lips, wrinkles foreheads…; once the whole range is exhausted, he complicates things; his idea of complexity is double emotion: Here we can examine admiration and astonishment, for according … Continue reading

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Versailles and Classicism — an Imaginary Landscape: Patel, Poussin, Lorrain.

Oh, that exotic locale to which a painter transports us! And while transporting us there, he often makes us time-travel; this is how we end up in a place either far away or a long time ago, or both long … Continue reading

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Bourellec Brothers at Chateau Versailles

From where I was taking this picture, I had an impression of looking at a giant stethoscope; and since in matters of design it is the figure-background principle that decides everything, I thought a medical center should have bought it; … Continue reading

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Her Porcelain Court

This gilded bronze clock, together with its zoomorphic orchestra, belonged to Madame de Pompadour. Judging from the expression of the conductor, the apes are in the middle of a rehearsal. Yet we can’t hear them. The clock has stopped. It was … Continue reading

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Versailles and the Iconography of Homosexuality

The Olympians, the Royal Family Portrait by Jean Norcet (1670). We see it when we enter the Sun King’s antechamber, the antechamber nick-named Bull’s Eye. This family portrait shows us all of Louis XIV’s immediate family and also tells us a … Continue reading

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