Perspective du Palais Royal, fontaines et jardins de Versailles




Perspective du Palais Royal, fontaines et jardin de Versailles


End of 17th century


Oil on canvas



Measurements :


Height : 36,2 in.

Width : 53,1 in.



From the beginning of his personal reign in 1661, Louis XIV decided to undertake a major expansion of the hunting lodge bequeathed by his father. In 1668, he entrusted the transformation of the castle by the architect Le Vau who offering to wrap on garden side, the old building with a new building, doubling and extending north and south of two large symmetrical wings, all in a style "Italian." From this date, the layings out multiply at the discretion of royal orders. There being only short stays in the first time, Louis XIV moved there with his court in 1682. Therefore, Versailles became the focal point to which all eyes of European courts are turned.


Symbol of royal absolutism related to the personality of Louis XIV which was the favorite residence, the Palace of Versailles, from the 1660s, saw many artists interested in the evolution of its architecture and ingenuity to the highlight through their paintings, drawings and engravings. Multiple representations of Versailles is now a great documentary interest because they allow us to observe the different stages of the progression of the work of Le Vau over time. 


Our great view of the castle is reminiscent of its arrangement, the famous painting by Pierre Patel (1605-1676) in 1668 and one in 1722 imagined by Pierre Denis Martin (1663-1742) with the vision of a building completed by Jules Hardouin Mansart.

Our painting has an equal documentary value as it is a recovery variants with an engraving of Adam Perelle (1640-1695) dated 1682 listed building designed by Le Vau.


 At that time, "the little house of cards" derided by the memoirist Saint-Simon, became the imposing palace of a prince who shows the European courts its magnificence and the know-how of French artists. 


We recognize the first gate built in 1679 on both sides of the wings of Ministers and the two wings of the royal court, closed by the royal gate and finally, corresponding to the ancient castle of brick and stone preserved, the marble court ledge in the front building and the balcony with the view on the king's bedroom.

It is interesting to note the liberties taken by the painter with engraving to amplify the rational side, and extraordinary construction, showing the north wing (which will be built between 1685 and 1689 by Jules Hardouin Mansart) and a pavilion system very tight proportions amplified either side of the wings of Ministers. It should be noted that the care taken in building and decor is enhanced by the addition of sculptures and fountains and fancy rendering more schematic gardens and groves.






Pierre Patel, Vue du château et des jardins de Versailles, prise de l’avenue de Paris, 1668, Versailles. N°inventaire : MV765

Pierre-Denis Martin, Vue du château de Versailles prise de la place d’armes, 1722, Versailles. N°inventaire : MV726

Adam Perelle, Vue et perspective de la ménagerie de Versailles du côté de la porte royale, fin XVIIe siècle. Versailles. N°inventaire : P475

Israël Sylvestre, Vue du château de Versailles de l’avant-court, vers 1682, Metropolitan Museum.