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Louis Le-Vau and Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Palais de Versailles
The Palais de Versailles was built by Louis XIV to prevent a repeat of the civil rebellion knowm as “The Fronde” (1648-53) which forced the aristocracy to live under royal control outside Paris. Versailles was began in 1669 by Le Vau who designed the elevation of the garden front, but he died within a year.
Jules Hardouin-Mansart, expanded the project to accomodate the ever growing royal household. The garden front, intended by Le Vau to be his main view of the palace, was stretched to an enormous length with no change in the architectural elements. As a result his original façade design, looks repetitious and out of scale.
The whole center block, contains a single room, the famous Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors). At either end are the Salon de la Guerre and its counterpart , the Salon the la Paix. Louis XIV was interested in the lavish interiors, so that would make suitable setting for himself and his family. The man that the king only listened was the Painter Lebrun. Lebrun’s goals was in itself baroque: to subordinate all the arts to the glorification of King Louis XIV. Lebrun employed architects, sculptors, painters and decorators to create ensembles of unprecedented splendor. As in so many Italians Baroque interiors, the separate components are less interesting than the whole.
But the most impressive aspect of Versailles is the park extending west of the garden front for several miles. Like the interiors, these formal gardens had:
They were meant to provide a suitable setting for the kings appearance in public. They formed a series of “outdoor rooms” for the splendid fêtes and spectacles that the King Enjoyed.