For the 300th anniversary of King Louis XV’s coronation, Palace of Versailles is paying homage with an exceptional exhibition. Over 400 works, some of which are being presented for the first time in France, invite visitors to (re)discover the monarch beyond his role as king, by deciphering his enigmatic personality.

the exhibition

Born in 1710 in Versailles, Louis XV was the son of the Duke of Burgundy and Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy, as well as the great-grandson of Louis XIV. Heir apparent after the death of his father, he became king at the tender age of five after the death of the Sun King on 1 September 1715. 

Louis XV, the Well-Beloved

A private man

The exhibition opens with an introduction to Louis XV as a man, looking back on his relations with his family and his entourage. 
His childhood, marked by grief, contrasts with his later life with his large family, where he delighted in his role as a father. Women also occupied a central place in the King’s life, such as his wife Marie Leszczynska, not to mention his many mistresses (some of whom made their mark on the period). The exhibition also explores Louis XV’s discreet, melancholy nature, a man who preferred the intimacy of his private apartments. There, he received his inner circle, who enjoyed his every confidence.

The King’s tastes and passions

The tour continues with the Louis XV’s passion for sciences, botany and hunting, as well as his love of buildings, and the influence of all these fields on his reign.
His curiosity and insatiable thirst for knowledge drove him to fund long sea voyages, transform Trianon into a garden full of botanical experiments, commission cutting-edge scientific tools and order the mapping of the kingdom.

Louis XV and the arts of his time

The final section of the exhibition shows how the arts flourished during the reign of the “Well-Beloved”. 
Multiple masterpieces of rococo art introduced the public to the foundations of this style, which, free of symmetry and formal rules, shook up artistic creation in the 18th century.

meet the favourites

For this exhibition, the apartment of Madame de Pompadour, as well as that of Madame du Barry, freshly restored after eighteen months of work, will be opened to the public for guided tours, offering a unique experience at the heart of Louis XV’s private Versailles. 

 

selection of works

1730 — Hyacinthe Rigaud

Louis XV
More infos
Portrait de Louise-Marie de France, dite Madame Louise

1748 — Jean-Marc Nattier

Portrait de Louise-Marie de France, dite Madame Louise
More infos

1748-1760 — d'après Nattier, Jean-Marc

Marie Leszczynska, reine de France
More infos

1749 - 1753 — Passemant, Claude-Siméon

Pendule astronomique de Louis XV à Versailles
More infos

1748 — Jean-Marc Nattier

Marie-Louise-Thérèse-Victoire de France, dite Madame Victoire
More infos

1774 — Armand Vincent de Montpetit

Portrait de Louis XV
More infos

1762 — Charles-Amédée-Philippe Van Loo

Portrait allégorique de Louis XV
More infos

1720-1730 — Chobert

Maquette de Carrosse
More infos

1737 — François Roumier

Table des Chasses, à plateau de stuc avec le plan de Compiègne
More infos

in connection with the exhibition

The podcast

On the occasion of the Louis XV exhibition, a podcast in the form of a serialised fiction will explore the passion of the “Well-Beloved” for the sciences. 
Coming soon here and on all podcast platforms. 

The audio trail

When visiting the exhibition, discover the audio trail available on the Palace audioguide and mobile application. 

Allegorical portrait of Louis XV

families

The game booklet

Questions, riddles and stories, accompanied by fun illustrations, will allow children to learn more about the personality and life of King Louis XV at Versailles. 

curators

Yves Carlier, Chief Heritage Curator at the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon.

Hélène Delalex, Heritage Curator at the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon.

exhibition patrons

With the patronage of: 

The restoration of the Passemant Astronomical Clock was completed thanks to the patronage of Rolex France.
The Passemant Microscope was acquired by the Palace of Versailles thanks to the support of L’Oréal.

practical information

The exhibition will be held at the Palace of Versailles from 18 October 2022 to 19 February 2023. The exhibition opening hours are the same as the Palace of Versailles opening hours.

Opening times and access

The exhibition can be accessed with the “Passport” or “Palace” ticket.

Passport

28,50 €

Book

Palace ticket

This ticket gives you access to the Palace, "The Recovered Masterpieces" Exhibition, the Gardens (except on Musical Fountain Sows or Musical Gardens days) and the Park.

19,50 €

Buy
free admission for under 26s

The exhibition is free for European Union residents under 26 years old. 
Please check the full conditions governing free admission.

Make an online donation

Take part in the history of the palace of Versailles by supporting a project that suits you: adopt a linden tree, contribute to the missions of the Palace or participate in the refurnishing of the royal apartments.

I support Versailles

The official Palace of Versailles app.

The free application of the Palace offers audio tours to accompany your visit to the Estate (Palace, Gardens, Trianon Estate, etc.) as well as an interactive map.

More information