As a political and aesthetic ideal, the world of Antiquity was glorified in all the courts of Europe from the time of the Renaissance and Greek and Roman remains were collected with passion by rulers and powerful men. But, in the reign of Louis XIV, this admiration took on a different dimension. To impose on all his subjects the coming of the absolute monarchy and demonstrate the power of France, the Sun King designed his palace as the new Rome dedicated to the cult of Apollo, as well as a sanctuary for the king’s prestigious collection of statues, busts, vases, cameos and medals.
No previous monarch had amassed so many antiquities and commissioned so many copies, works that provided an endless source of inspiration to the artists of his time. The sculptures, paintings, decorative arts and architecture of Versailles continued to make reference to the mythology and history of the ancient world even after the reign of Louis XIV.
Celebrating power, order and glory, the presence of Antiquity at Versailles was the expression of a truly royal aesthetic.
This book produced to coincide with the exhibition “Versailles and Antiquity” reveals the sumptuous and refined masterpieces gathered here which recreate the timeless stories and figures of mythology.
Authors: Alexandre Maral et Nicolas Milovanovic
Coeditors: Artlys - château de Versailles
ISBN : 9782854955125
Number of pages : 317
Date of publication : November 2012
Dimensions : 24 x 30,5 cm
Languages : french