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Lecture 14

ARTHI 6B Lecture 18: Lecture #14

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Art History

ARTHI 6B, Winter Quarter, 2017 Lecture # 14 French Baroque: Palace, Landscape & Power Lecture Questions: 1. What is absolutism? How did French political culture differ from the environment in Italy? 2. What were the circumstances that led King Louis XIV to build Versailles? 3. How does the Palace of Versailles express the political ambitions of King Louis XIV? 4. How does the Baroque garden differ from Renaissance gardens? How does the garden help to create the desired image for the palace? Absolutism: Art and Political Theory Bernini, Portrait of Louis XIV of France, 1665, marble Patron: Louis XIV Setting: Cĥeau of Versailles ● Represented with head slightly to the side ● Deeply carved curls, silk, sash ● Gazing into the distance ● Aloof and regal ● Conceit: authority ● Naturalism to mislead the viewer (Louis didn't look this good) Louis XIV ● Most famous French monarch ● Became king at age of 4, assumed power in his 20s ● Had a long reign, ruling until his death in his 70s ● Absolutist ruler What is an absolutist state? ● Monarch holds unconditional power over his or her subjects through self- proclaimed divine right to rule ● Limited nobility power ● Created standing armies (loyal to no one but him) ● Highly centralised power network of information Why Louis XIV? ● Most complete execution of absolutism ● Copied by many smaller dynasties ● Move court away from Paris to Versailles ● Able to keep a close watch on the nobility ● Used court ceremonial to watch and control nobility ● Big on hierarchy ● Creates series of academies ● The “Sun King” because he thought of himself as the embodiment of Apollo ● Apollo= Patron of the arts ● Sun rises and sets with regularity, is necessary for life, everything rotates around it, center of the universe What do we mean by “magnificence”? The Chat̂eau of Versailles and Baroque Palatial Architecture Chat̂eau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, 1657-61 Exterior views and plan Patron: Nicolas Fouquet (1615-80) ● Minister of Finances (Nicolas) put together the team of artists that created his country estate and later Versailles ● Wings, grand salon, king’s quarters ● Miles of gardens ● Windows look straight out into miles of uninterrupted gardens ● Symbols of incredible wealth ● Louis was jealous by the gram housewarming party, so he arrested his finance minister and stole his team of architects Chat̂eau of Versailles, 1668-71 Patron: Louis XIV Architect: Louis Le Vau (1612-70)= master of the “envelope” Painter: Charles Le Brun (1619-90)= created the Louis XIV style, first painter to the king Garden designer: AndréLe N̂re (1613-1700)= called the Bernini of landscape design, worked for the Pope and many kings. Knighted by Louis ● Outside of Paris ● Architectural and spatial relations ● Interior and visualisation of splendor ● Palace, garden, and nature ● Built in stages ● Minister of Finances (Nicolas) put together the team of artists that created his country estate and later Versailles ● Terrace closed to create Hall of Mirrors ● Reaches out to show authoritarian control ● Louis’s bedchamber was placed in the direct center of the palace ● Bed chamber was center for ceremonies, faced the sun ● State apartme
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