Warrior-monarch and inveterate traveller, Peter the Great crisscrossed the world for almost four decades, from the White Sea to the Caspian, from Holland to Moldavia, from England to Persia. His voyages included two long journeys through Western Europe, the first in 1697–1698 and the second twenty years later, in 1716–1717.
In the course of this second journey he spent two months in France, in April–June 1717. Two years after the death of Louis XIV he discovered the West’s most populous kingdom, met the boy-king
Louis XV, negotiated with the regent, Philippe d’Orléans, and mingled with statesmen, scholars, artisans and artists. Driven by an all-consuming curiosity, he visited palaces and manufactories, fortifi cations and libraries, churches and academies. On foot and in his horse-drawn carriage he explored the streets of Paris and toured the royal residences of the Ile-de-France: Versailles, Trianon, Marly, Saint-Germain, Fontainebleau. He and his entourage stocked up on books, objets d’art and scientifi c instruments to be taken back to Russia with the lavish diplomatic gifts offered by the French government. Visits and discussions with the French fuelled the ideas of this reforming tsar and would influence the works he had been engaged in since 1703 in and around Saint Petersburg.
This catalogue and the exhibition it accompanies commemorate the tricentennial of the journey of
1717 and its meeting between a venerable kingdom and a nascent empire: a seminal event for cultural relations between Russia and France.
Life of a Tsar
Peter the Great, first Emperor of all the Russias
The Journey to France
Peter the Great’s Second Visit to Europe: The Diplomatic Stakes
Peter the Great in France April–June 1717
French Scientific Instruments in the Collection of Peter the Great
French Books in the Library of Peter I
The Art of Tapestry
“The Tapestry Work here is Extraordinary”
Peter I and French Painting : Desir without love?
French Painters in Russia in the Early Eighteenth Century
Peter the Great and French Architecture
Peter I and Versailles
Interior Design and Decoration
French Interior Decorators in Saint Petersburg
A Glorious Posterity
Peter and the French of the Englihtenment
Timeline of Peter the Great’s Reign
Timeline of the Second Journey to the West
Authors: edited by Gwenola Firmin, Francine-Dominique Liechtenhan and Thierry Sarmant
Publisher: Palace of Versailles / Lienart
Number of pages: 240 pages
Date of publication: 25 May 2017
Dimensions: 24 x 28 cm
Language: French and english