From June to September 2018 Jean Cotelle (1646-1708) Gardens and gods

© RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles)

From 12th of June to 16th of September 2018, an exhibition dedicated to Jean Cotelle the Younger will be on display at the Grand Trianon. The exhibition will feature some 120 works, paintings, drawings, engravings, miniatures and sculptures from public and private collections.

The exhibition

Jean Cotelle, Vue des parterres du Trianon de marbre avec Zéphyr et Flore endormie (détail)
huile sur toile

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / © Thomas Garnier - Design : graphica

The first exhibition dedicated to Cotelle will honour an artist who was very popular in his time. Jean Cotelle the Younger belonged to the generation of painters called upon by Louis XIV to decorate the Grand Trianon, a pleasure palace secluded from the hustle and bustle of the court.

la galerie des Cotelle

For the Trianon Gallery, which overlooks the gardens and connects the Cool Room and the Garden Room, Cotelle was entrusted with the largest portion of the commission: twenty-one paintings.

The Cotelle Gallery

In order to adapt to the setting, he painted in vertical format, rather unusual for landscape painting, to create topographical representations of the Versailles gardens. He adorned the scenes with characters from mythology or fables arranged in two registers (earthly and heavenly), modelled upon the bucolic landscapes of Bolognese painter Albani.

Some paintings of the Cotelle Gallery

1689-1691 — Jean II Cotelle

Vue de la Colonnade avec Apollon et les nymphes
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1689-1691 — Jean II Cotelle

Vue de l'amphithéâtre du Théâtre d'eau avec Vénus parée par les heures en présence d'Ouranos
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1689-1691 — Jean II Cotelle

Vue du Bassin du Dragon et de la rampe du bassin de Neptune avec Apollon tuant le serpent Python
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1689-1691 — Jean II Cotelle

Vue des cinquante-deux jets de Trianon avec Mars et Vénus devant Apollon et Vulcain qui va les faire prisonnier avec un filet
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1689-1691 — Jean II Cotelle

Vue du Labyrinthe avec Diane et les nymphes
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1689-1691 — Jean II Cotelle

Vue de la Salle de Bal avec Armide couronnant Renaud
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This cycle, completed by three paintings by Jean-Baptiste Martin and Etienne Allegrain, represents a unique ensemble, providing insight into the king's taste for his gardens which had recently been created by André Le Notre. Hidden by vegetation, the groves served as a backdrop for the portrayal of the loves and pleasures of the gods.

The Works

The exhibition will feature the twenty-four restored paintings following a restoration campaign that lasted several years.

Along with the large format canvases, the fifteen gouaches created by the artist, masterpieces of miniature painting, will also be displayed. Additionally, a selection of lead sculptures will be included in the exhibition to evoke the decoration of the groves which have since disappeared, in relation to Cotelle's paintings.  

jean II Cotelle

While the Trianon commission represents one of the highlights of Cotelle's career, retracing the various stages of his work nevertheless reveals different aspects of his talent and his varied career in Saint-Cloud and Versailles as well as in Provence.

Born into a supportive family, his father Jean Cotelle the Elder, a decorator and ornamental painter, sent him to train with the portrait painter Claude Lefèvre. After a five-year stay in Italy, he began his academic career as a miniaturist.

Despite working for the King, Monsieur, the King's brother, and the Church, he left Paris in 1693 in order to live in Marseille for a time. 

Read more about Jean II Cotelle

Research Notice

In preparation of the exhibition on Jean Cotelle which will be held at the Grand Trianon this summer, the Palace of Versailles launches a research notice for three works attributed to the painter, two gouaches and a drawing. These works disappeared from the public eye in the 80s for two of them and soon after the year 2000 for the last one. However, reproductions and publications confirm that they exist.

The works are :

  • La toilette de Vénus, drawing
  • Vue du château de Choisy du côté des parterres et la famille de Louvois, gouache
  • Eliezer et Rebecca au puits, gouache
La toilette de Vénus, drawing

La toilette de Vénus, drawing

Vue du château de Choisy du côté des parterres et la famille de Louvois, gouache

Vue du château de Choisy du côté des parterres et la famille de Louvois, gouache

Eliezer et Rebecca au puits, gouache

Eliezer et Rebecca au puits, gouache

Once found, their identification would enrich the corpus of the artist and value these works which could be displayed in the exhibition.

Internet user are invited to spread this search as far as possible with the hashtag: #ExpoCotelle.

People having information about these works can contact the Palace of Versailles through :

Contact the Palace


Become a patron

Become a patron of the exhibition by adopting one of the last three paintings to be restored in the Cotelle gallery or by supporting the exhibition directly. You will then benefit from custom-made compensation.

For more information, please contact:

Practical information

 Exhibition from 12 June to 16 September 2018

Open every day except Monday
From 12noon to 6.30pm (last entry at 5.30pm)

Admission to the exhibition with the Passport or Estate of Trianon ticket, the “A Year in Versailles card, and for those eligible for free admission (under 18s, EU residents under the age of 26, disabled people, job seekers in France, etc.)


 Guided tours of the exhibition (in French only)

23 and 29 June; 4, 17, 27 and 29 July; 8 and 25 August; 9 and 14 September at  2.30pm.

Booking required
Prior booking at +33 (1) 30 83 78 00
or online at
or on-site on the day at the North Minister’s Wing (subject to availability).

Price : 10€ + admission ticket

Free : For visitors under 10 and those accompanying a disabled person.

Duration : 1.5 hours


young audience

Aimed at children from the age of 6, this booklet includes 12 pages of adapted information, questions and games for young visitors to discover the Grand Trianon. Widely illustrated, designed in a tone both playful and informative, it is an aid to visit the interior rooms of the Grand Trianon but also the gardens of the former "Palace of Flore" with an outdoor playground.

Broadcast free of charge at the entrance to the Grand Trianon, in French and English. It is also available for download.

Produced in partnership with Paris Mômes.


Claire Adelfang

To mark the completion of the work on the Queen's House and its reopening, the Palace is hosting an exhibition of photos by Claire Adelfang, a young photographer who captured the location in 2015 before its restoration, in the Petit Trianon from 4 May to 2 September.

virtual view of the Queen's house in Marie-Antoinette's estate

Virtual experience

A virtual visit of the Queen's hamlet

The Queen's hamlet in the Trianon Gardens is an idyllic place for a stroll. Upon restorating and refurnishing the key feature of the Hamlet, discover it in 3D wherever you are.

Virtual exhibition

"A Place at the Royal Table” virtual exhibition

The European Royal Residences Association, including the Palace of Versailles and in partnership with Google Cultural Institute, is holding a virtual exhibition titled "A Place at the Royal Table" as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.