Archive for December 29th, 2018

December 29, 2018

Salon de Diane , Versailles of course!

And as I am on a roll in my beloved, beautiful and Royal Versailles ; let me continue somethings to ahhh about. Versailles is sublime and one needs to see it more to understand is not Paris it preceeds Paris, it is part of the constitution of France a de facto capital of France! My kind of town!

While wandering in the city you come to realise the multitude of things to see that is not castle related. However, there is always the castle. Inside of it one of the places that always fascinates me is the Salon de Diane ,and I like to tell you a bit more about it. Again, if you look in my blog you will find plenty on it but never in a single dedicated post like now.

The Salon of Diane is a room of the Château de Versailles, and my favorite room. Part of the King’s Grands apartments, this room decorated with the theme of Diane, goddess of Roman mythology, served as a billiard room in the time of Louis XIV. The lounge communicates to the west with the Salon de Mars and to the east with the Salon de Venus. And the door of the bottom, on the right, led to the second flight of the staircase of the  Ambassadeurs. You will see in the center of the ceiling, Diane accompanied by the nocturnal hours and the cool hours of the morning, presiding over hunting and navigation. The salon is 10,3 meters long by 8,7 meters wide and 7,5 meters high.


The King’s Grands apartments constitute the public part of the monarch’s life, which received the court and foreign ambassadors with pomp. There, especially at the time of king Louis XIV, was a veritable staging of absolute power,   great power for official receptions, feasts, concerts, etc. The decor, of infinite richness, constitutes a real work of art , and it is not an inch of ceiling, tapestry or furniture that does not advocate the virtues of the king. The walls of the Grands apartment are panelled with marble and were exhibited in the Royal Collection of antique statues and busts or enriched with paintings, a number of which are now at the Louvre Museum.


King Louis XIV originally used the Salon de Diane as a billiards room. He was a master at this game. The billiard table stood in the center of the room, covered with a fringed crimson velvet carpet. Stands covered with Persian rugs embroidered in gold and silver were placed around the room on which the women sat to observe the game.

Some of the decorations to keep an eye on are in the ceiling; Diane on her chariot presiding with hunting and navigation, in ancient Greece, the goddess of hunting, Diane, was associated with the moon for her coldness. She was also the sister of Apollo, the god of the sun. The covings are adorned with hunting scenes of ancient heroes. Here the allusion is transparent, because it is common knowledge that Louis XIV was a great hunter. At the north side see Alexander chasing the lion, the east is Cyrus chasing the boar, and on the south Julius Caesar sending a Roman colony to Carthage,and the west see Jason and the Argonauts.


The chimney is surmounted by a painting representing Iphigenia saved by Diane. A small relief of marble representing the escape in Egypt is embedded in the apron of the chimney. In the middle of the wall facing the windows stands a bust carved in 1685 of king Louis XIV at the age of 27 years. The brilliant performance of this sculpture is one of the masterpieces of the artist Bernini.


Some of the nice paintings here are : The Sacrifice of Iphigenia,by   Charles de La Fosse; Diane and Endymion, by Louis-Gabriel Blanchard; Camaïeu above the doors, evoking the legend of Diane:; Diane and Actaeon, by Louis-Gabriel Blanchard; Diane protecting Arethusa,by Louis-Gabriel Blanchard, an offering of flowers, and the Sacrifice to Diane, also by Louis-Gabriel Blanchard

Some of the nice sculptures here are: Bust of Louis XIV by Bernini from 1665 in white marble; Ancient Roman woman bust with head in white marble, onyx shirt from Egypt or Asia Minor, tunic in Brocatelle; Ancient bust of Roman Empress with head in white marble, the onyx shirt of Egypt or Asia Minor, the tunic and the pedestal in flower of peach, this marble comes from Serravezza in the Carrara basin in Italy.


Just marvelous indeed the whole and its parts. You must come even if lately due to its worldwide popularity has become a bit crowded. Pick early hours, bring your ticket with you, go in by the back either the orangerie or the better and mine  porte Saint Antoine, and try the Wednesday mornings when school is out and kids with their parents are elsewhere.

Some webpages on the Grand Apartments here: Official Chateau de Versailles on Grand Apartments and Diane

The always helpful commons by wikipedia show you details of the deco paintings sculptures there. Commons wikipedia photos on the Salon de Diane

Enjoy it fully ,its a must to see in your lifetime .And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




December 29, 2018

Galerie des Batailles, Versailles of course!

So moving along on my nostaltic tour of my beloved Versailles, I like to expand a bit on a wonderful place inside the Château de Versailles. I have written in my blog before and you know you can search but not in a post by itself , which I think merits one.

Therefore, I will tell you a bit more on the galerie des batailles or gallery of battles of the palace of Versailles. This is my take on it.

In the 19C, the Château de Versailles experienced a new destiny: to become the Museum of the History of France, dedicated to “all the glories” of France, according to the wishes of Louis-Philippe, the new king of the French in 1830. The Museum of the history of France was created in 1837 by King Louis-Philippe, who entrusted the organization to the Count of Montalivet. Installed in the wings of the Château de Versailles, then in a state close to abandonment, it brings together a vast ensemble of portraits and historical scenes, canvases commissioned for the most part to artists of the time. A unique ensemble in Europe, it has recently undergone restorations. It includes the Galerie des Batailles (gallery of battles), a gallery of 120 meters long with large paintings illustrating the major military events in the history of France. Not many realized this is a museum and think only of a castle; but it was saved by Louis Philippe creating the idea of all the glories of France and creating a museum here!

The collections of the Museum of the History of France include today almost 6 000 paintings and 1 500 sculptures, dated from the 15-20C, of which almost half are orders of Louis-Philippe for his museum (works of creation, copies and die castings). Since the fall of Louis-Philippe in 1848, the collections have continued to enrich themselves, by orders or purchases of the French Republic, but also by numerous legacies and donations. Most of these works are in the official art and have been used for generations to illustrate countless books of history, literature, dictionaries and encyclopaedias.


The Gallery of Battles is a gallery in the Museum of the History of France, located on the first floor of the south wing of the Château de Versailles. This gallery measures 120 meters long by 13 meters wide and occupies the length of the first floor of the central wing or aile du Midi. The architects Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine and Frédéric Nepveu created the solemn decor. A large cornice supports a painted coffered vault and encasements supported by corinthian columns chant the length of the gallery. On sixteen bronze tables are the names of princes, admirals, constables, marshals, great warriors killed or wounded to death fighting for France.   The busts are placed on sheaths between the tables and against the columns. The Battle Hall features the busts of French soldiers who died in combat. The paintings cover fourteen centuries of the history of France, since the Battle of Tolbiac, delivered by Clovis in 496, to that of Wagram, won by Napoleon Ier in 1809. A bit of credit on architect Frédéric Nepveu of which street directly to you left and before getting into the avenue saint cloud is name after. More here: Chateau de Versailles on Frederic Nepveu


Its creation was decided by King Louis-Philippe in the place of apartments which had been successively occupied, in the 17-18C by the Duke of Orléans Philippe de France, said Monsieur, brother of Louis XIV, and by his second wife, Elisabeth-Charlotte Palatine Princess of Bavaria; The Duke and Duchess of Chartres, Philippe d’Orléans, regent during the minority of Louis XV; The Duke of Orléans, son of the regent, Louis d’Orléans; the Dauphine; the Count of Artois (future king Charles X) ; and Madame. Elisabeth (sister of Louis XVI).

There was some renovations to house the gallery from the above apartments: mainly a metal structure and a large overhead window similar to the Grand Gallery at the Louvre museum. French history is presented from Clovis to Napoléon by reading left to right with special mention of Tolbiac, Poitiers, Bouvines, Marignan, Rocroi, Yorktown (my favorite ::) , Rivoli , and Austerlitz. In the center , among the heroes ,the historical sequence portrays the horsemen, the statement, the wounded, and the leader or legitimate sovereign who prefigured the new king of France.


You can enjoy, Delacroix painting of the battle of Taillebourg part of a series devoted to the Hundred Years’ War. Also, works by Horace Vernet, Heim and Bard who did paintings on the inauguration festivities of the Gallery of Battles in 1837. You will see the portrait of the battle of Saint Louis vs Hugues de Lusignan rebel vassal allied with king Henry II of England (a sketch is at the Louvre museum as well). The revolt of Cairo 1798, painted by Anne Louis Girodet showing General Dupuy trying to disperse the crowds on which he was assassinated (similar work by the painter in the Coronation room at the Chateau de Versailles on the battle of Abukir. Of course, for me, nothing better than the battle of Yorktown showing  George Washington Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, count of Rochambeau, and Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette painted by Auguste Couder.



Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Chateau de Versailles Galerie des Batailles

Chateau de Versailles and the great characters of its history

Chateau de Versailles museum collections

Just one single spot worth coming to the Palace/museum of Versailles indeed!!! I could stay long time glancing of these paintings and busts and did come several times.  Enjoy it !!.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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