Through the presentation of emblematic masterpieces from the palace of Versailles, gathered together in an exceptional way, this book displays the royal residence in all its riches and diversity. Its riches are the paintings, sculptures, woodwork, furniture and objets d'art of the highest artistic quality, all produced in the studios of the greatest creators of the 17th and 18th centuries, those who made Versailles and ensured its predominance. Its diversity lies instead in its settings. With its three palaces, two gardens and park, the estate of Versailles is an entire world. From the majesty of the king's Grand Apartment to the pastoral charm of Marie Antoinette's Trianon, from the broad vistas of the gardens to the secrecy of the groves, the royal residence of bygone days offers a profusion of beauty but also of contrasts and surprises that are bound up with its history and its creators.
This encounter with the masterpieces of Versailles will also be an opportunity to appreciate the excellence of French art and craftsmanship of the past and the present alike. Far from being an incomparable but frozen treasure chest, Versailles is in fact still animated by the skills and talents of the artists and craftsmen who work to preserve it and to whom this exhibition pays the tribute that is their due.
Musée des Beaux-arts d’Arras, Ancienne Abbaye Saint-Waast, September 2014 - March 2016