Palace of Versailles: Pomp and Power with Sandra Laville

Palace of Versailles: Pomp and Power with Sandra Laville

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For centuries, Versailles has been known as one of the world's most spectacular royal palaces - but not only for the beauty of its gardens or the size of its royal monuments. During its heyday in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Versailles court was an epicenter for some of Europe's most talented performing artists and a stage for some of its most magnificent festivities. Known across Europe for their exacting etiquette rules and elaborate daily routine, Louis XIV and his successors used music, dance, and theatre to strengthen their power and spread their fame throughout the world. During the first part of the seminar, you will hear how Louis XIV, the Sun King, installed a complex system of etiquette-based rules to keep his noble subjects under his subjugation ̐ in so doing, making daily life at court performance in, and of, itself.

Next, hear all about the brilliant musicians, dancers, composers, and actors that sang the glory of their royal patrons and immortalized their fame for centuries to come: Moli•À_re and Lully, Rameau, and Voltaire, Rameau and Gluck... Discover the works of art they created and performed at Versailles, leaving their indelible mark on the reigns of their respective rulers.

And lastly, discover the magnificent festivities celebrated at the Palace of Versailles, from the time of Louis XIV to that of his successors Louis XV and XVI. From the 7-day celebration staged by Louis XIV in 1664 to the marriage of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI more than a century later, hear how these festivities celebrated the glory of France and carried the renown of its king to the four corners of the world.

Led by an expert on Modern European History (1492 - 1797), Sandra Laville, this interactive seminar will discuss the topic of power, etiquette, and the performing arts at the court of Versailles. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of what daily life was like at the court of Versailles, and the role that music, dance, and theatre played in strengthening the power and fame of Kings Louis XIV, XV, and XVI.

Sandra is an art historian specializing in the link between European art, history, and society from the 15th to the 19th centuries. She holds a Master's degree in Art History from the Universite La Sorbonne, where she specialized in Italian Renaissance painting and the iconography of the modern European family. Originally from Canada, she also holds an undergraduate degree in Linguistics, with a double specialization in French and Spanish Language Civilization, and has lived in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Rome, before finally settling in Paris.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.