"Invited by Louis XIV in 1685." Top 5 Page for this destination Versailles Tip by breughel

Versailles, Paris: 206 reviews and 387 photos

  Salon de Diane - Bust of Louis XIV by Le Bernin.
by breughel
 
  • Salon de Diane - Bust of Louis XIV by Le Bernin. - Paris
      Salon de Diane - Bust of Louis XIV by Le Bernin.
    by breughel
  • Salon de l'Abondance. - Paris
      Salon de l'Abondance.
    by breughel
  • A door for a King. - Paris
      A door for a King.
    by breughel
 

When visiting the drawing-rooms of Venus, Abundance, Diane and Mars one can imagine going back a few centuries and attend one of the evening receptions which Louis XIV offered to the Court in his Grand Apartments three times per week from 18 to 22 h. The festivities began with music, dances, parts of billiards in the Diane room (the king played billiards very well) and cards.
A light dinner was served in the Venus room on silver tables weighing more than 300 kg. These tables were covered with dishes, vases, candlesticks in silver like all the furniture. In the Abundance room were the dressers, also in silver, for fine liquors, wines, tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
The rooms were lit by thousands of candles. The Mars room was the ballroom.

The Venus drawing-room owes its name to the mythological painting of the ceiling by Houasse. The room is decorated with "trompe l'oeil" paintings which give the effect to be sculptures and of a statue of Louis XIV.
The rather small room known as "Abundance room" owes its name to the painting of the ceiling representing “Abundance and the Liberality” of the painter Rene-Antoine Houasse (1683). The room opened on the Cabinet of Curiosities which contained the royal collections.
I liked the walls covered with an emerald green and gold velvet (restored in 1955) what contrasts with other decorations of the Royal Apartments. As we can see it today the décor of the "Salon de l'Abondance" goes back to King Louis Philippe. In the Diane drawing-room stands a remarkable bust of the king by the Italian sculptor Le Bernin.

In that period all the rooms of the "Grands Appartements du Roi" were decorated with silver furniture. There remains nothing of it. In December 1689 the King had all the silver furniture of his Apartments melted down to finance his wars. That represented 20 tons of silver. All these beautiful artefacts in silver had cost 10 million "livres" (pounds) of that time; Louis XIV obtained only 2 million livres. An enormous destruction of art!

Nota bene:
I read here "Versailles is mostly the creation of Louis XIV (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793)"
To avoid confusion Louis XIV was born in 1638 and died in 1715.
It was Louis XVI, born in 1754, who died on the guillotine in 1793!

Address: Versailles, Château, Grands Appartements du Roi.

Review Helpfulness: 5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 11, 2013
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breughel

“Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage”

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