Monday, April 16, 2018

Visitors to Versailles (1682-1789)

Louis XVI and Benjamin Franklin
 From Apollo:
From the late 17th century until the French Revolution, the court of Versailles received visitors from the rest of France and from abroad, ranging from travellers, princes, and ambassadors, to artists, writers and philosophers. This collaboration between the Palace of Versailles and the Met – the first of its kind – presents evidence of the many different kinds of visitors, their impressions of court, and the receptions they received – in the form of more than 300 examples of portraits and sculptures, costumes and tapestries, and decorative arts. Find out more about the exhibition from the Met’s website. (Read more.)
From WWD:
 Chief among the outfits in the newly opened exhibit is the three-piece suit worn by Benjamin Franklin during his visit to Versailles. The new exhibition at the Fifth Avenue museum also explores the various elements of a visit to the royal residence in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nearly 190 works from The Met, the Palace of Versailles and 50 different lenders are on view through July 29 in the Tisch Galleries. As America’s first ambassador, Franklin was received by Louis XVI in 1778 and won the military support of France. Franklin’s three-piece suit from 1778-79 is on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The Met’s new show will also feature a French silk brocade grande robe à la française, 1775-85, which was believed to have been worn by one of the wives of Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf — a well-known textile manufacturer — for her visit with Marie Antoinette, as well as a men’s formal French suit and a women’s riding habit. The exhibition also features furniture, tapestries, carpets, costumes, porcelain, sculpture and more. (Read more.)
From Fashionista:
Although more private portions of the palace itself remained off-limits, Louis XIV made himself and his family widely available to their subjects. Several times a week, the sovereign held a ceremonial "grand couvert" in which the royalty dined before the public, while Louis XIV allowed for visitors to watch him pass through the Hall of Mirrors to attend daily mass. And then there were religious holidays and other special celebrations, which featured fireworks, fountain shows and musical performances that attracted hoards of onlookers. But the "best part of Versailles," wrote traveler Adam Ebert from Frankfurt in 1724, was still "the king himself." (Read more.)

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