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.

Versailles

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.

Versailles

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.

Versailles

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.

Versailles

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.

Versailles

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!!!

 

 

 

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