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.
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.
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
in connection with the exhibition
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The exhibition can be accessed with the “Passport” or “Palace” ticket.
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.
"With the support of the State, but also of all the people who love Versailles, we are fighting. We hope to get through this difficult period without letting go of what makes the Estate’s core greatness, so that it continues to shine throughout the world ", Catherine Pégard, President.
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