Mirrors, Mirrors on the Wall

French interiors have a long history of over-the-top Baroque swirls and curls along with royal Rococo opulence that transcends many luxurious designs of today. French furniture, even today, has a very feminine curviness about it that mimics the original scheme of the 17th-century palaces. One room in particular is quite famous for its dramatization of space. This, my friends, is The Hall of Mirrors in the larger than life Palace of Versailles.

Versailles was built in the 17th century for Louis XIV[1], the Sun King, and Mr. Sun wanted everything to be gold like the sun. So they made it pretty much mostly gold. This was a huge chunk or land[2] which they continued to build upon throughout the generations of kings named Louis.[3] But the Hall of Mirrors was a fantastic ballroom peering over the gardens. It gets its name from the mirrors that frame the seventeen arches surrounding the windows out to the garden. Each arch has a total of 21 mirrors, which were, by the by, one of the most expensive items up for sale. [4]

But the Hall of Mirrors is more than just a giant self-reflection. It is over the top in décor: regardez, mes amis, the enormous and obscene crystal chandeliers that dangle from the expanse of ceiling. Observe also the mixing of marbles on the walls versus those that make up the pilasters. And also, do you see the gold that Louis wanted? Oh yeah, that’s because the moulding is literally covered completely in gold leaf. Oh and also the sculptures wielding cornucopias.[5] And let’s just not even touch upon the frescoed ceilings, deal?

Is it, perhaps, one of the coolest and craziest rooms in the history of interior

florI mean, come on, check out that floor!

cornu

Versailles11

chandeliers

arch

Hall

windowYou must admit, the light is lovely!


[1] Who after a bit of protesting in Paris was quite frightened and wanted to move out of the city for more protection. Also that way he could really hold court separate from all others and keep an eye on who was doing what when and where. If you’re interested in this, there are tons of reads on solely  the manners required at the court of Versailles.

[2] Originally a swamp.

[3] Obviously, this ended with the French Revolution when instead of adding on, the “proletariat” trashed the place.

[4] Venice had a monopoly. But seriously, what didn’t Venice have a monopoly on?

[5] A symbol of plenty.

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