The definitive book on the Palace of Versailles, magnificently illustrated with new color photography One of the chief landmarks of Western civilization, a meeting-place of the arts and a repository of historical memory, the Palace of Versailles continues to fascinate its three million visitors per year, as well as students of art and history. Here, for the first time, is a book that captures the true grandeur of Versailles: its imposing facades and glittering interiors, its sumptuous art and decoration, and its beautifully ordered gardens. The text, prepared by a team of leading scholars under the direction of Pierre Arizzoli-Clementel, former director of Versailles, traces the entire arc of the palace's history: from its relatively modest origins as the hunting lodge of Louis XIII, through its expansion into the ultimate symbol of the ancien regime under Louis XIV and his successors, to the present-day efforts to restore it to its pre-Revolutionary condition. Individual chapters are devoted to such topics as painting, sculpture, furniture, the Grand and the Petit Trianon, and the spectacular formal gardens of Andre Le Notre. This exemplary account is complemented by more than five hundred illustrations, including photographs; paintings, prints, and drawings; and architectural plans. The photographs, commissioned especially for this volume, lead the reader on a private tour of Versailles, revealing both spectacular views and exquisite decorative details. A feast for the mind as well as the eyes, a collector's item as well as a reference, this is the essential volume on an iconic subject.
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