Exhibition program at the palace of Versailles+More info
Exhibition program at the palace of Versailles+More info
Discover the extramural exhibitions of the Palace of Versailles+More info
De Gaulle in Trianon
Until 9 November 2016, discover the story of Trianon as a Palace of the Republic.+More info
Olafur Eliasson is the Palace of Versailles’ guest artist for the summer of 2016.+More info
From 5 July to 2 October 2016
An exhibition on the occasion of the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.+More info
Catalogue of the publications of the palace of Versailles+More info
In prelude to the visit to the Grands Apartements, the restored Louis XIV Rooms are now open.+More info
Reopening on 10 May 2016
The collection of coaches will be exhibited in an entirely redesigned space.+More info
A new visitors’reception area+More info
Closed for works
New visitor tour from 5th January 2016+More info
Restoration and refurnishing works at the palace of Versailles+More info
The last acquisitions of the palace of Versailles+More info
20 years of archaeological excavations in Versailles+More info
The scientific activities of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles+More info
Discover the concerts recorded at the Palace of Versailles+More info
Missions and program for the musical season+More info
A centre for equestrian shows and training, directed by Bartabas+More info
Versailles Festival 2016
Concerts, operas, masked balls and shows : discover the programmation.+More info
Discover the exhibition War let loose
Within the framework of a new perspective for the Museum of French History, the War let loose exhibit confronts paintings and photographs on the theme of the image of war. Symbolic snapshots of war photography and photojournalism taken around the world are confronted with the gallery’s battles scenes. This confrontation invites visitors to truly think about the power and importance of images.
Galerie des Batailles
From 12 may to 6 september 2009
Sponsorship: Paris-Match et Xerox
The exhibition is included in the visit of the Palace, for more information click here.
The Battles Gallery, which covers the entire length of the first floor of the South wing, was built by Louis-Philippe in 1837 when he created a museum devoted “to all of France’s glories” at Versailles. A true construction of a national identity in images, the 33 paintings that cover its walls, commissioned from the most famous artists of the time, including Eugene Delacroix’s The Battle of Taillebourg won by Saint Louis, the Entry of Henri IV into Paris by François Gerard, the Battle of Fontenoy by Horace Vernet, recount the most significant episodes of French military history, of its victories. From Tolbiac (496) to Wagram (1809), this journey through images illustrates the great names of French and European history: Clovis, Charlemagne, Saint-Louis, Francis I, Henry IV, Louis XIV, Napoleon, and in the middle of all these characters, the assistance provided for the independence of the United States of America.
The Battles Gallery shows how a series of sacrifices and glorious events strengthened national ties. The walls are also adorned with lists of leaders who were killed in action. At the time, war was a way of uniting society as a whole for a common political project. This history of France is quite dated and one can wonder how it is perceived by the 21st century public, which, what is more, is largely international. These collections remain, however, an important component of our collective imagination. This unrealistic vision can be found in many popular images, schoolbooks illustrations, cartoons and even films.
During the exhibit each painting will be matched with a complementary or contrasting photograph. The goal is to encourage visitors to question and be much more attentive and visually investigate the image (as a family, class or couple). The cross-comparison between the snapshots and paintings results in a dynamic and original interpretation of both mediums and of history itself. The exhibit weaves an original dialogue around themes, encounters, and leads visitors to a new awareness of what they look at.
The snapshots presented in comparison with the paintings mark key periods of world history since the 19th century as well as the history of war photography. Bringing together famous and unknown shots, for each giant painting there is a “reflecting” enlargement and, in a display cabinet, one of the first viewing methods of these photographs, original prints, newspaper publications, postcards, Internet circulations, etc.
The photographs selected span the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, from the oldest snapshot (View of the Battle of Gettysburg by Timothy O' Sullivan dating back to 1863 during the American Civil War, brought specially from the George Eastman Museum in Rochester in the United States), to the most recent, taken in the Central African Republic by Frederic Sautereau and published in Le Monde 2 on 10 March 2007.
Added to the diversity of the times, places and mediums (Vu, Life, Paris-Match… as well as strip cartoons with Le Photographe on Afghanistan) is the diversity of the authors – unknowns, artists or great names of photojournalism such as Robert Capa, Marc Riboud, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Don Mc Cullin, etc
This is the opportunity for all kinds of visitors to “reinterpret” these battle paintings, while discovering aspects of the world history of photojournalism. This is the opportunity to incite people to look at things differently, to question our history and its representations and to think about the relationship between events and media images.