'The Ch�teau de Versailles is a real photographic challenge because it is so huge: there is an infinite number of possible points of view and they are never the same, depending on the time of day, the weather or the season... There are always new photos to take, to contemplate, to dream of. It is a demanding place that stimulates creativity and encourages you to look at it again and again' Thomas Garnier Versailles is one of the most photographed places in the world, but only four people have the privilege of being the Palace's official photographers. They have uniquely unfettered access to the secrets that lie within, outside and beneath this enormous domain where they spend their days - and sometimes their nights. Now, for the first time, they open their personal albums to offer a wealth of impressions and responses. Two hundred and fifty previously unpublished photographs reveal a plethora of outstanding artworks, the private apartments of Louis XIV, MarieAntoinette and Madame de Pompadour, magnificent galleries, the delightful Orangerie and more, all accompanied by texts that provide a lively introduction to daily life at the Ch�teau and its momentous history. This is a monumental volume on a scale that matches the grandeur of the worldrenowned Palace it celebrates.
The behind-the-scenes story of the world's most famous palace, painting a picture of the way its residents truly lived and examining the palace's legacy, from French history through today The story of Versailles is one of historical drama, under the last three kings of France's old regime, mixed with the high camp and glamour of the European courts, all in an iconic home for the French arts. The palace itself has been radically altered since 1789, and the court was long ago swept away. Versailles sets out to rediscover what is now a vanished world: a great center of power, seat of royal government, and, for thousands, a home both grand and squalid, bound by social codes almost incomprehensible to us today. Using eyewitness testimony as well as the latest historical research, Spawforth offers the first full account of Versailles in English in over thirty years. Blowing away the myths of Versailles, he analyses afresh the politics behind the Sun King's construction of the palace and shows how Versailles worked as the seat of a royal court. He probes the conventional picture of a "perpetual house party" of courtiers and gives full weight to the darker side: not just the mounting discomfort of the aging buildings but also the intrigue and status anxiety of its aristocrats. The book brings out clearly the fateful consequences for the French monarchy of its relocation to Versailles and also examines the changing place of Versailles in France's national identity since 1789. Many books have told the stories of the royals and artists living in Versailles, but this is the first to turn its focus on the palace itself---from architecture and politics to scandal and restoration.
What was it like to visit one of the most magnificent courts of Europe? Based on a wealth of contemporary documents and surviving works of art, this lavish book explores the experiences of those who swarmed the palace and grounds of Versailles when it was the seat of the French monarchy. Engaging essays describe methods of transportation, the elaborate codes of dress and etiquette, precious diplomatic gifts, royal audiences, and tours of the palace and gardens. Also presented are the many types of visitors and guests who eagerly made their way to this center of power and culture, including day-trippers and Grand Tourists, European diplomats, overseas ambassadors, incognito travelers, and Americans. Through paintings and portraits, furniture, costumes and uniforms, arms and armor, guidebooks, and other works of art, Visitors to Versailles illuminates what travelers encountered at court and what impressions, gifts, and souvenirs they took home with them. In bringing to life their experiences, this sumptuously illustrated volume reminds us why Versailles has enchanted generations of visitors from the ancien régime to the present day.
The Ch�teau de Versailles--the indisputable birthplace of fashion--continues to inspire glamour and style today. The royal residence of Versailles--this unparalleled seat of power and seduction--is an important influence on contemporary fashion, inspiring passions and vocations. Since the establishment of the world's first dress codes under the rule of Louis XIV to incite the whims of the queens and royal mistresses, fashion at Versailles has been a constant and inexhaustible source of inspiration for designers, photographers, decorators, and directors and has launched countless fashion revolutions. Courtesan Madame de Montespan launched the "innocente" robe to camouflage pregnancy, Sofia Coppola memorialized Marie-Antoinette in extravagant wigs and pastel hues, and Annie Leibovitz captured Kirsten Dunst in a delicate taffeta-and-chiffon Alexander McQueen gown against the dramatic backdrop of a peristyle at Versailles. Haute couture in the 1950s launched the cinched-waist "neo-trianon" trend. Karl Lagerfeld used the ch�teau's gardens as the runway for his 2013 cruise collection featuring Versailles-influenced crinoline dresses and brocade jackets. This stunning volume showcases the best of fashion inspired by Versailles, set against the exquisite background of the most spectacular palace in the world.
Tracing the transformation of Louis XIII's modest hunting lodge into the spectacular showplace of the French monarchy, photographs of the architecture, interiors, and gardens include the most recent research on the architecturally innovative and influential palace.
Versailles has been described in minute detail since the reign of Louis XIV, but numerous rooms in the palace and its outbuildings are inaccessible to the public due to their fragility or state of preservation. From the most renowned salons to the gardens, passing through the Trianon or the Queens hamlet, Versailles contains extraordinary details, transformed by light and shadow. From dusk on a summers evening to the veil of mist on a winters morning, these photographs reveal the many facets of Versailles and offer readers unprecedented access to this historical treasure.
A sumptuously photographed tour based on unprecedented access to the Chateau de Versailles includes coverage of its hundreds of hidden gems, sharing insight into such typically closed locations as the Petit Trianon and Marie-Antoinette's dairy farm.
Marie Antoinette has always fascinated readers worldwide. Yet perhaps no one knew her better than one of her closest confidantes, Marie Thérèse, the Princess de Lamballe. The Princess became superintendent of the Queen’s household in 1774, and through her relationship with Marie Antoinette, a unique perspective of the lavishness and daily intrigue at Versailles is exposed. Born into the famous House of Savoy in Turin, Italy, Marie Thérèse was married at the age of seventeen to the Prince de Lamballe; heir to one of the richest fortunes in France. He transported her to the gold-leafed and glittering chandeliered halls of the Château de Versailles, where she soon found herself immersed in the political and sexual scandals that surrounded the royal court. As the plotters and planners of Versailles sought, at all costs, to gain the favor of Louis XVI and his Queen, the Princess de Lamballe was there to witness it all. This book reveals the Princess de Lamballe’s version of these events and is based on a wide variety of historical sources, helping to capture the waning days and grisly demise of the French monarchy. The story immerses you in a world of titillating sexual rumors, bloodthirsty revolutionaries, and hair-raising escape attempts and is a must read for anyone interested in Marie Antoinette, the origins of the French Revolution, or life in the late 18th Century.
An alternate perspective on the world of Marie Antoinette, told through the story of her personal and exclusive perfumer Jean-Louis Fargeon, documents how he faithfully served Marie for fourteen years until the Revolution swept across France in 1789.
Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed. The King's scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, of the five Nesle sisters-- Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne-- four will become mistresses to King Louis XV. All will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.
The author of the internationally acclaimed Josephine Bonaparte trilogy returns with another irresistible historical novel, this one based on the life of Louise de la Vallière, who, against all odds, became one of the most mysterious consorts of France's Louis XIV, the charismatic Sun King. Set against the magnificent decadence of the seventeenth-century French court, Mistress of the Sun begins when an eccentric young Louise falls in love with a wild white stallion and uses ancient magic to tame him. This one desperate action of her youth shadows her throughout her life, changing it in ways she could never imagine. Unmarriageable, and too poor to join a convent, Louise enters the court of the Sun King, where the king is captivated by her. As their love unfolds, Louise bears Louis four children, is made a duchess, and reigns unrivaled as his official mistress until dangerous intrigue threatens her position at court and in Louis's heart. A riveting love story with a captivating mystery at its heart, Mistress of the Sun illuminates both the power of true and perfect love and the rash actions we take to capture and tame it.
Taking its departure from King Louis XIV's 1660 visit to Provence, this book reveals the remarkable musical developments that followed.
INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards -- 2014 Finalist For gardening aficionados and Francophiles, a love letter to the Versailles Palace and grounds, from the man who knows them best. In Alain Baraton's Versailles, every grove tells a story. As the gardener-in-chief, Baraton lives on its grounds, and since 1982 he has devoted his life to the gardens, orchards, and fields that were loved by France's kings and queens as much as the palace itself. His memoir captures the essence of the connection between gardeners and the earth they tend, no matter how humble or grand. With the charm of a natural storyteller, Baraton weaves his own path as a gardener with the life of the Versailles grounds, and his role overseeing its team of eighty gardeners tending to 350,000 trees and thirty miles of walkways on 2,100 acres. He richly evokes this legendary place and the history it has witnessed but also its quieter side that he feels privileged to know. The same gardens that hosted the lavish lawn parties of Louis XIV and the momentous meeting between Marie Antoinette and the Cardinal de Rohan remain enchanted, private places where visitors try to get themselves locked in at night, lovers go looking for secluded hideaways, and elegant grandmothers secretly make cuttings to take back to their own gardens. A tremendous best seller in France, The Gardener of Versailles gives an unprecedentedly intimate view of one of the grandest places on earth. From the Hardcover edition.
"Hall’s consummate history is not just the story of the evolution of one of the world’s great collections... The book is also a through-the-keyhole insight into the shifting tastes, good or bad, of 1,000 years of monarchs." - The Times The Royal Collection is the last great collection formed by the European monarchies to have survived into the twenty-first century. Containing over a million artworks and objects, it covers all aspects of the fine and decorative arts, from paintings by Rembrandt and Michelangelo to grand sculpture, Fabergé eggs and some of the most exquisite furniture ever made. The Royal Collection also offers a revealing insight into the history of the British monarchy from William the Conqueror to Queen Elizabeth II, recording the tastes and obsessions of kings and queens over the past 500 years. With unprecedented access to the royal residences of St James' Palace, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, Art, Passion & Power traces the history of this national institution from the Middle Ages to the present day, exploring how royalty used the arts to strengthen their position as rulers by divine right and celebrating treasures from the Crown Jewels to the "Abraham" tapestries in Hampton Court Palace. Author Michael Hall examines the monarchy's response to changing attitudes to the arts and sciences during the Enlightenment and celebrates the British monarchy's role in the democratisation of art in the modern world. Packed with glimpses of rarely seen artworks, Art, Passion & Power is a visual treat for all art enthusiasts. Accompanying the BBC television series and a major exhibition at the Royal Academy, Art, Passion & Power is the definitive statement on the British monarchy's treasures of the art world.
The lives and destinies of four generations of determined women are set against the splendor of Versailles through the reigns of France's most spectacular Bourbon kings, from Marguerite, the peasant girl who becomes part of the royal court of the Sun King, to Rose, who becomes lady-in-waiting and confidante to Marie Antoinette. Reprint. 40,000 first printing.
The alignment of the stars at Marie Mancini's birth warned that although she would be gifted at divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Nonetheless, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the opulent French court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie discovers that her powerful uncle rules, using Marie's sister Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall. Desperate to avoid her mother's dying wish that she spend her life in a convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite sophistication. As her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie's charm. Sensing a chance to grab even greater power, Cardinal Mazarin pits the sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange for bending King Louis to his will. Disgusted by Mazarin's ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything, but exposing Mazarin's darkest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even King Louis' love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her powers of divination. Fraught with conspiracy and passion, Enchantress of Paris is a captivating historical novel about a woman whose love was more powerful than magic.
E. H. Gombrich's Little History of the World, though written in 1935, has become one of the treasures of historical writing since its first publication in English in 2005. The Yale edition alone has now sold over half a million copies, and the book is available worldwide in almost thirty languages. Gombrich was of course the best-known art historian of his time, and his text suggests illustrations on every page. This illustrated edition of the Little History brings together the pellucid humanity of his narrative with the images that may well have been in his mind's eye as he wrote the book. The two hundred illustrations—most of them in full color—are not simple embellishments, though they are beautiful. They emerge from the text, enrich the author's intention, and deepen the pleasure of reading this remarkable work. For this edition the text is reset in a spacious format, flowing around illustrations that range from paintings to line drawings, emblems, motifs, and symbols. The book incorporates freshly drawn maps, a revised preface, and a new index. Blending high-grade design, fine paper, and classic binding, this is both a sumptuous gift book and an enhanced edition of a timeless account of human history.

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