OCTOBER 18TH 2022 - FEBRUARY 19TH 2023
For the 300th anniversary of King Louis XV’s coronation, Palace of Versailles is paying homage with an exceptional exhibition. Through more than 400 works, discover Louis XV beyond his function as monarch and learn more about his passions, his family life and his influence on the arts of his time.
Born in 1710 in Versailles, Louis XV was the son of the Duke of Burgundy and Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy, as well as the great-grandson of Louis XIV. Heir apparent after the death of his father, he became king at the tender age of five after the death of the Sun King on 1 September 1715.
A private man
The exhibition opens with an introduction to Louis XV as a man, looking back on his relations with his family and his entourage.
His childhood, marked by grief, contrasts with his later life with his large family, where he delighted in his role as a father. Women also occupied a central place in the King’s life, such as his wife Marie Leszczynska, not to mention his many mistresses (some of whom made their mark on the period).
The exhibition also explores Louis XV’s discreet, melancholy nature, a man who preferred the intimacy of his private apartments. There, he received his inner circle, who enjoyed his every confidence.
The King’s tastes and passions
The tour continues with the Louis XV’s passion for sciences, botany and hunting, as well as his love of buildings, and the influence of all these fields on his reign.
His curiosity and insatiable thirst for knowledge drove him to fund long sea voyages, transform Trianon into a garden full of botanical experiments, commission cutting-edge scientific tools and order the mapping of the kingdom.
Louis XV and the arts of his time
The final section of the exhibition shows how the arts flourished during the reign of the “Well-Beloved”.
Multiple masterpieces of rococo art introduced the public to the foundations of this style, which, free of symmetry and formal rules, shook up artistic creation in the 18th century.
meet the favourites
For this exhibition, the apartment of Madame de Pompadour, as well as that of Madame du Barry, freshly restored after eighteen months of work, will be opened to the public for guided tours, offering a unique experience at the heart of Louis XV’s private Versailles.
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