From 27 October 2015 to 21 February 2016, the exhibition – the first on the subject – will look back on the details of the death, autopsy and funeral of Louis XIV.
The death of the king, both as a man and an institution, was a key moment in the construction of the public perception of the monarchy, combining religion (the death of a Christian) and politics (the death and resurrection of the king, who never dies). From his final death throes to the burial it resembled a performance, a great Baroque show of huge significance to courtly society, which was affected more than ever by it.
The exhibition will look back on the details of the death, funeral of Louis XIV, and to situate them in the funeral context of European sovereigns from the Renaissance period to the Enlightenment. It also discusses the survival – often paradoxical – of this ritual from the French Revolution to the contemporary era.
The exhibition will bring together works of art and historical documents of major importance from the largest French and foreign collections, including ceremonial portraits, funeral statues and effigies, gravestones, the manuscript for the account of the autopsy of the king, coins from the Saint-Denis Treasury, gold medals, emblems and ornaments, and furniture of funeral liturgy. Some of the pieces on display have never been exhibited in public.
From 27 October 2015 to 21 February 2016
The exhibition is open every day except Monday (and on Thursday 25 December 2015 and 1 January 2016) from 9:00am to 5:30pm (last entry at 4:45pm).
Admission included in Passports and Palace tickets bought at the Palace or online. Exhibition tickets available online allow you to skip the line.
Béatrix Saule, Director and Head Curator of the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, assisted by Hélène Delalex Conservation Officer at the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon
and Gérard Sabatier, Emeritus Professor
Scenography : Pier Luigi Pizzi
The exhibition is made with the exceptional support of the French National Library
Around the exhibition
To help children better understand the exhibition, the Palace of Versailles has designed a discovery game in partnership with Mon Quotidien.
Under the direction of Gérard Sabatier, professor emeritus of the Universities, president of the scientific comitee of the Research Center of the Palace of Versailles and Béatrix Saule, director general curator of the national museum of the Palaces of Versailles and of Trianon.
From June to 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.
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