Everyone knows the Grande Galerie of Versailles, better known as the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors); but few know that it was used in turn and sometimes simultaneously as a waiting room, a ballroom, a place for hosting official receptions, a hospital, a room where political treaties were signed, etc. And this is only one of a number of examples...
As the first comprehensive study of the complex theme of the galleries of royal residences and aristocratic mansions throughout Europe (in France, Spain, Great Britain, etc.), this book approaches it from different angles, all based on archive documents, drawings, engravings and inventories which explain or describe what still exists and what had disappeared. This public passage, called a 'gallery' in some countries or sometimes a simple 'saal' (room) as in Germany, was also used for private purposes while remaining a space for staging events, where the glory of the sovereign or the owner was highlighted by the etiquette and also by the iconographic, historical or allegorical decoration that could even invite the prince to practice Virtue. The figures of Abundance and Prosperity, in the fresco by Tiepolo in the grand throne room of the royal palace in Madrid, were there to remind him of this. [...].
Authors: Claire Constans and Mathieu Da Vinha
Editor: Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris
Date of publication: september 2010
Dimensions: L 24 x W 17 cm
Language: French only