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Visitors to Versailles Cover

Visitors to Versailles: From Louis XIV to the French Revolution

Kisluk-Grosheide, Daniëlle and Bertrand Rondot eds.
392 pages
334 illustrations
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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.

Architecture Françoise, 4 Volumes, Jacques François Blondel  French
Louis XV (1710–1774), King of France, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne the Younger  French, White marble, French, Paris
Drop-front secretary (Secrétaire en armoire), Jean Henri Riesener  French, Oak veneered with ebony and 17th-century Japanese lacquer; interiors veneered with tulipwood, amaranth, holly, and ebonized holly; gilt-bronze mounts; marble top; velvet (not original), French, Paris
Les curiositez de Paris, de Versailles, de Marly, de Vincennes, de S. Cloud, et des environs : avec les antiquitez justes & précises sur chaque sujet, et les adresses pour trouver facilement tout ce que ces lieux renferment d'agréable & d'utile : ouvrage enrichi d'un grand nombre de figures en taille douce, Georges Louis Le Rouge  French, born Hanover
Multiple artists/makers
Suit, wool, silk, British
Embroidered panels for a man's suit, Silk embroidery on woven silk, satin stitch; stem stitch, knots and silk net, French
Court suit, silk, French
Tricorne, wool, Italian
mid-18th century
Smallsword, Steel, silver, gold, wood, textile, French
ca. 1750
Smallsword, Steel, gold, wood, textile, French
Smallsword with Scabbard, C. Liger  French, Steel, silver, gold, wood, textile, fishskin, French
ca. 1780
Robe à l'anglaise, silk, French
Shoes, silk, British
Robe à la française, silk, French
Smallsword carried by the Gardes du Corps, Guilmin  French, Steel, silver, wood, textile, French, Versailles
Partisan Carried by the Bodyguard of Louis XIV (1638–1715, reigned from 1643), Steel, gold, wood, textile, brass, French, Paris
French, Paris
ca. 1658–1715
Partisan Carried by the Bodyguard of Louis XIV (1638–1715, reigned from 1643), Bonaventure Ravoisie  French, Steel, gold, wood, textile, brass, French, Paris
ca. 1678–1709
Partisan Carried by the Bodyguard of Louis XIV (1638–1715, reigned from 1643), Jean Berain  French, Steel, gold, wood, textile, French, Paris
ca. 1679
Armchair, Carved and gilded walnut, caning; velvet, French
ca. 1700–1710
Pair of double doors, Carved, painted, and gilded oak; modern gilt bronze, French
ca. 1710
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Kisluk-Grosheide, Daniëlle O., and Bertrand Rondot. 2018. Visitors to Versailles: From Louis XIV to the French Revolution [Exposition, Château de Versailles, 22 Octobre 2017-25 Février 2018, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9 Avril-29 Juillet 2018]. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.