New Book | The Versailles Effect

Posted in books by Editor on December 14, 2020

From Bloomsbury:

Mark Ledbury and Robert Wellington, eds., The Versailles Effect: Objects, Lives, and Afterlives of the Domaine (London: Bloomsbury, 2020), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1501357787, $120.

The essays in this volume show that Versailles was not the static creation of one man, but a hugely complex cultural space: a centre of power, but also of life, love, anxiety, creation, and an enduring palimpsest of aspirations, desires, and ruptures. The splendour of the Château and the masterpieces of art and design that it contains mask a more complex and sometimes more sordid history of human struggle and achievement. The case studies presented by the contributors to this book cannot provide a comprehensive account of the Palace of Versailles and its domains, the life within its walls, its visitors, and the art and architecture that it has inspired from the seventeenth century to the present day. However, this innovative collection will reshape—or even radically redefine—our understanding of the palace of Versailles and its posterity.

Mark Ledbury is Power Professor of Art History & Visual Culture and Director of the Power Institute at the University of Sydney. He is the author of James Northcote, History Painting, and the Fables (2014) and Sedaine, Greuze, and the Boundaries of Genre (2000). He is also the editor of three books, including Fictions of Art History (2013).

Robert Wellington is Senior Lecturer in Art History & Art Theory at the Australian National University. He is the Book Placement Editor for Early Modern Art History Studies (1500–1800) for H-France and serves on the advisory board for Bloomsbury’s Material Culture of Art & Design book series. His monograph Antiquarianism and the Visual Histories of Louis XIV: Artifacts for a Future Past was published in 2015.


Enduring Versailles — Robert Wellington and Mark Ledbury

Part I. Making the Palace
1  The Other Palace: Versailles and the Louvre — Hannah Williams (Queen Mary University)
2  The Grands Décors of Charles Le Brun: Between Plan and Serendipity — Bénédicte Gady (Musée des Arts Décoratifs)
3  Artisans du Roi: Collaboration at the Gobelins, Louvre and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture under the Influence of the Petite Académie — Florian Knothe (University of Hong Kong)
4  Rough Surfaces: Etching Louis XIV’s Grotto at Versailles — Louis Marchesano (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Part II. Versailles Life
5  Porcelain and Power: The Meaning of Sèvres Porcelain in Ancien Regime France — Matthew Martin (National Gallery of Victoria)
6  Hair, Politics, and Power at the Court of Versailles — Kimberly Chrisman Campbell (Independent scholar, USA)
7  The Politics of Attachment: Visualizing Young Louis XV and His Governess — Mimi Hellman (Skidmore College)
8  Courting Favour: The Apartments of the Princesse de Lamballe at Versailles, 1767–1789 — Sarah Grant (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Part III. Outsiders
9  Enslaved Muslims at the Sun King’s Court — Meredith Martin (New York University) and Gillian Weiss (Case Western Reserve University)
10  A Turk in the Hall of Mirrors — David Maskill (University of Wellington)
11  Cornelis Hop (1685–1762), Dutch Ambassador to the Court of Louis XV — Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Part IV. Versailles Now
12  Melancholy, Nostalgia, Dreams: Adventures in the Grand Cimetière Magique — Mark Ledbury (University of Sydney)
13  American Versailles: From the Gilded Age to Generation Wealth — Robert Wellington (Australian National University)

List of Contributors

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