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10.2a.3 Versailles. Panorama du Château et du parc / Charles Rivière del. et lith

Print shows a bird's-eye view of park with ponds, fountains, gardens, and sightseers, with the château in the background, Versailles, France. Illustration possibly from: Vues de Versailles / Charles Rivière del. & lith. Paris : Maison Martinet, [1860-1871].

Rivière, Charles
before 1861
Lithograph
Library of Congress

Rivière, Charles, Lithographer. Versailles. Panorama du Château et du parc / Charles Rivière del. et lith. Paris: Maison Martinet, 1860 or 1861. Lithograph. From Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Popular graphic art print filing series. https://www.loc.gov/item/2016652466/

Between 1661 and 1710, using thousands of workers, King Louis XIV built the Palace of Versailles to display his absolute power and house his family, courtiers, and 10,000 nobles. The palace was fabulously decorated with depictions of the sun, which Louis XIV claimed as his personal symbol. It was surrounded by a huge park, with fountains, statues, and gardens. Only privileged people, such as officials, nobles, and ambassadors, could enter the park or buildings; the more honored of this group could gain access to the king’s rooms in the center of the complex. This lithograph was made in 1860 or 1861, about 150 years after Louis XIV ruled there, and 70 years after the French Revolution, which overthrew his great-grandson’s rule.
In a similar fashion to the Forbidden City shown in Source 2, this is a grand palace complex built to enhance the power of the king, in this case, Louis XIV of France. While Louis XIV is the most famous example of a ruler claiming divine right, most powerful kings from this era used buildings, dress, court ceremonies, and wars to awe their subjects and increase their perceived omnipotence. Students should recognize the similarities between sources 2 and 3; point out that the ideas behind divine right and the style of kingship were shared by powerful Asian and Middle Eastern monarchs. Between 1661 and 1710, using thousands of workers, King Louis XIV built the Palace of Versailles to display his absolute power and house his family, courtiers, and 10,000 nobles. The palace was fabulously decorated with depictions of the sun, which Louis claimed as his personal symbol.

Versailles
Charles Rivière del. et lith
PANORAMA DU CHATEAU ET DU PARC