Louis XIV, Œil-de-Bœuf room
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Louis XIV, Œil-de-Bœuf room
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327 views
Begun in 1671 and decorated from 1676, the Grand Staircase of Versailles served for a while as the main access to the Palace, before being replaced by the Queen’s Staircase. It was used above all during grand diplomatic audiences, hence its later name of Ambassadors’ Staircase: decorated using carefully thought-out iconography, this theatrical location was particularly well-adapted to the ostentatious ceremonies of the new Versailles. In the niche above the north wall above the fountain on the first landing, the centre of the display was occupied by a bust of Louis XIV, exalted by its almost liturgical location. At an unknown date before 1693, and for reasons that remain unclear, the bust by Varin, initially placed there, was replaced by that of Coysevox, completed in 1681. Unlike Varin’s work, this new effigy was almost fully frontal, even more majestic and with an assured calm, right up to the curls of the large wig: devoid of any heroic spontaneity, the portrait was, moreover, decidedly more institutional than individual.
Nov 5, 2018
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