To say Versailles isn’t impressive would be a lie, it is. However, I wasn’t terribly impressed. It seemed like a lot of fluff that really didn’t make sense, and was kind of put together ad hoc. It seems like the sun king and all his successors were more in to making a statement, regardless of what they were actually saying. There were some big paintings, and then there were some good paintings, but only a couple of times did they mix. The actual paintings galleries were mostly portraits of ugly people, and few were done by gifted hands, so for the most part, I and the multitudes passed on by. I awoke rather late yesterday 11am; tired I guess from all that was done the day before. Fearing I wouldn’t be able to complete my goal of viewing the palace in its entirety, I rushed up ASAP. My supper posh hotel is at the palace gates. πŸ™‚ I did find some paintings, and quite a few great pieces of sculpture to see. But it wasn’t until later that the greatest discoveries were made out in the park.

I haven’t featured many sculptures on this blog, but these deserve a spot. They are absolute masterpieces. The variety of textures and adept execution are marvelous. Funny, all stone sculpture to some extent owes a debt to Bernini, yet the French king didn’t use him, yet all French sculptors copied him. Odd.

Here is the kings bed chamber, and the tapestry/woven silks are unbelievably intricate. Very impressed. Interesting that they covered the bed with a plastic sheet, the Sun King must have wet the bed. πŸ™‚

There was a “War Room”, and a “Hall of Battles”. War in every way was glorified. Each painting had a corresponding year and a particular battle that it was supposed to represent. Saddening really…and sobering. Few, if any of the paintings depicted the garish truths of war. But, the painting execution of quite of few of them was excellent.

This one was by Horace Vernet, Delaroche’s father in law. I always thought that Delaroche was a far superior painter to Vernet, but this painting changed my opinion a little. Delaroche is still THE exemplar, but Vernet could hold his own.

This one while boring in regard to the faces, is masterful in execution. This artist was so good an placing one big color shape, and having it stand for what it was supposed to represent. Masterful paint handling.

After visiting the palace in its entirety, I entered the park. I had planned that the first day I would devote solely to the museum, palace, and minor buildings. So I set out on my way for Marie Antoinette’s villa called the Petit Trianon. I was most impressed by the kitchen that the staff used. Also of interest was the Chamber. It really all came into perspective. I mean here were these people lauded above all others and having every finery imaginable, but they still had to go poo just like the rest of us. One would think that they would have someone there to do the clean up for them, but the closet was a one person affair. How on earth did we ever get to a place as people that we esteem one human so highly above another??? I’ll never forget my friend and fellow teacher Janet being so impressed and surprised by the fact that I treated the principal of our school with such casual regard, she being from Cuba, had a different take on status than I. I wonder how much of that is my own way of thinking, and how much is a product of “American” dogma: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.”???

Outside of her mansion, was one of the most, no change that, the most picturesque villages I’ve ever seen. It was where the staff resided that raised the chickens, donkey, cattle, sheep, goats, and farmed the land that produced the food for the mansions. They are still functioning, and still growing crops. It was marvelous, and to be right honest, if they would have had a place for a resident artist, I would have never left. They grew their own grapes, made their own wine, milled their own wheat, and grew their own cabbage…self-sustained living at its finest!

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