Versailles is Louis’ World: We’re just Visiting it.
The French viewpoint of their hysteric (albeit historic) past is expressed in this mural of King Louis XIV who presides over all at the Palace of Versailles. In creating the image with the use of positive and negative space, the artist has brought out the fashion “Trends” of the period: Buckled shoes, Hose, a Wig and his elegant Walking Stick with his robe of office decked with ‘Fleur de Lis’. He is every inch the well dressed man of the century (17th Century) and later his son Louis 15th would take up the job of renovations until finally the last King, Louis 16th and Queen Marie Antoinette added their own projects. A talented lineage of architects, gardeners, furniture makers, painters, gilders, and more. King Louis 15th with his mistress Madame Pompadour created the luxury industry for France (including ) furniture, paintings, interiors and finally “Limoges” the now famous china inspired by luxury Chinese porcelain. Madame Pompadour is now credited with creating the entire breadth of the luxury French industries. Upon her death, was carried out in a simple coffin and later buried in a convent (which is now since gone).
Versailles Palace as ‘Influencer’ for the Rest of Europe
The extraordinary Palace of Versailles set the tone for Europe as the leader of luxury. Catherine the Great heavily borrowed the style of Versailles in Russia. You can still see it today. When PUTIN ‘rolls out the red carpet’ or enters the building flanked by guards dressed like tin solders he is surrounded by the heavily gilded paintwork of the Imperial designs instituted by her. Man of the people, indeed. Like all absolute rulers (even the modern ones) the demise of these empires is just a matter of time. Thankfully, many palaces have been left behind for us to see as unique historic relics.
The Best Way to Tour Versailles, if you have the time, is to spend at least one Great, Grand Day here, and focus on just one TOUR. Whether it be the gardens, and fountains (Especially lovely in the summer time) or touring the King’s Rooms, newly renovated for all to see. The Queen’s rooms are also ready to see with fresh renovations as is the HALL OF MIRRORS. The TRIANON Palaces both the GRAND and PETITE are worth the trip that includes a view of the gardens and the Temple of Love. The unique miniature French “FERME” (*Farm) or HAMLET created by Marie Antoinette herself is filled with vegetable and flower gardens. Imagine; that she was so tired of the formal French court the life of a Shepherdess was more appealing. Nevermind the behind-the-scene ‘real’ shepherds who were there to tend them.