The Louvre and Versailles: The Evolution of the Proto-typical Palace in the Age of Absolutism

1st Edition

Christopher Tadgell

April 28, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 376 Pages - 230 Color & 357 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367198930 - CAT# K418221

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This book traces the evolution of the great palaces of the Louvre and Versailles, from the medieval background to Pierre Lescot’s designs for expanding the former in the mid-16th century and to the successive grands projets for the transformation of the latter over the course of the 18th century. Detailed architectural analysis is set in the context of the development of the medieval monarchy towards absolutism, the significance of Hispano-Burgundian court etiquette as a influence on planning, and the effect of the French monarchy’s financial incontinence on royal building ambitions.

On the basis of exhaustive original research, recalling contemporary testimony and re-examining the works themselves, the book offers an alternative to the current ordering of François Mansart’s celebrated projects for the completion of the Louvre and reassesses the subsequent contribution of Claude Perrault. After a thorough examination of the development of Versailles, exterior and interior, it traces the influence of Bernini’s third Louvre project on Ange-Jacques Gabriel’s designs for the rebuilding of the town front.

Finally, the book looks at the influence of the great French palaces on those seeking to emulate their ambition, from Stockholm in the late 17th century to the deliriously opulent late 19th-century palace of Ludwig II of Bavaria at Herrenchiemsee.

The book includes a wealth of illustrative material and supporting documents, bringing this comprehensive and authoritative text to life.


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