October 18th 2022 - February 19th 2023 Louis XV
Passions of a king

For the 300th anniversary of the coronation of King Louis XV, the Palace of Versailles is paying homage with an exceptional exhibition. Through more than 400 works, discover Louis XV beyond his function as monarch and learn more about his passions, his family life and his influence on the arts of his time.

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. 

Video : Louis XV - The Secret King

© EPV / Thomas Garnier

© EPV / Thomas Garnier

© EPV / Thomas Garnier


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 -- not only his wife  Marie Leszczynska, but also his many mistresses, some of whom left their own 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 Louis XV’s passion for sciences, botany and hunting, as well as architecture, 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, liberated from formal rules of symmetry, introduce the public to the foundations of this style, which transformed 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. 

 

This exhibition benefits from the loan of works from the Museum national d'Histoire naturelle.

Virtual tour 

Discover all the works of this exhibition in a unique scenography thanks to the 360° photo technology. An immersive experience, to discover the passions of Louis XV.

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.

Late-openings

From 15 to 19 February 2023, enjoy the exhibition "Louis XV, Passions of a King" during exceptional evening visits (the exhibition closes at 10pm). 

Late-openings - Exhibition "Louis XV, Passions of a king"

Explore the exhibition during exceptional late-opening hours on a fine winter’s evening.

Secrets, passions, a taste for the arts: come and discover the man...
Read more

Explore the exhibition during exceptional late-opening hours on a fine winter’s evening.

Secrets, passions, a taste for the arts: come and discover the man behind the monarch through many masterpieces, some of which are on show for the first time in France.
Who was the real Louis XV? A king with a passion for science? A lover of women? A shy and reserved man? The story of the private life of this French king is relatively little known. To mark the 300th anniversary of his coronation, the Palace of Versailles is dedicating its first major exhibition to the life and character of the king they called “the Beloved”.

This ticket only gives access to the exhibition at night, within half an hour of the chosen time (the exhibition closes at 10pm).

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Rates

14,50 € Buy

Late-openings - Exhibition "Louis XV, Passions of a king"

Who was the real Louis XV? A king with a passion for science? A lover of women? A shy and reserved man?
14,50 €
Read more
Late-openings - Exhibition "Louis XV, Passions of a king"

Explore the exhibition during exceptional late-opening hours on a fine winter’s evening.

Secrets, passions, a taste for the arts: come and discover the man behind the monarch through many masterpieces, some of which are on show for the first time in France.
Who was the real Louis XV? A king with a passion for science? A lover of women? A shy and reserved man? The story of the private life of this French king is relatively little known. To mark the 300th anniversary of his coronation, the Palace of Versailles is dedicating its first major exhibition to the life and character of the king they called “the Beloved”.

This ticket only gives access to the exhibition at night, within half an hour of the chosen time (the exhibition closes at 10pm).

Rates

14,50 € Buy

Timetable for the last returns to Paris by public transport

From Versailles Chantiers to Gare Montparnasse (line N): last return at 00.31 am*

From Versailles Rive Droite to Gare Saint-Lazare (line L): last return at 00.15 am*

From Versailles Château Rive Gauche to Paris (line C): last return at 11.55 pm*

* Schedules subject to change by RATP or SNCF

Selection of works

1730 — Hyacinthe Rigaud

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

1748 — Jean-Marc Nattier

Portrait de Louise-Marie de France, dite Madame Louise
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1748-1760 — d'après Nattier, Jean-Marc

Marie Leszczynska, reine de France
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1749 - 1753 — Passemant, Claude-Siméon

Pendule astronomique de Louis XV à Versailles
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1748 — Jean-Marc Nattier

Marie-Louise-Thérèse-Victoire de France, dite Madame Victoire
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1774 — Armand Vincent de Montpetit

Portrait de Louis XV
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1762 — Charles-Amédée-Philippe Van Loo

Portrait allégorique de Louis XV
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1720-1730 — Chobert

Maquette de Carrosse
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1737 — François Roumier

Table des Chasses, à plateau de stuc avec le plan de Compiègne
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in connection with the exhibition

Spectacular Creations

The exhibition ends with a spectacular creation. The installation "After us, the deluge" is realized by the collective Lignereux, a contemporary heir to the famous art dealer Martin-Eloy Lignereux (1751-1809). This work, specifically created for the exhibition, echoes the luxury and excellence of French decorative arts under the reign of Louis XV.

In this installation, twenty sculpted fountains are each reflected twice, on the wall and on the floor, in mirror parterres inspired by the Neptune Fountain.

The work, composed of gilded bronze, porcelain, and mirrors, represents the creative and intellectual flourishing of the 18th century and a frozen version of the Grandes Eaux de Versailles. With this piece, Lignereux also revisits the mounted vases brought up to date under Louis XV, which the art dealer traded until the early 19th century.

© Camille Gentil

© Camille Gentil

© EPV / Thomas Garnier


The podcast

On the occasion of the Louis XV exhibition, a fictional serialised podcast will explore the “Bien-Aimé's” passion 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. 

Video : Allegorical portrait of Louis XV

exhibition patrons

With the patronage of: 

 

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

media partners 

With the media partnership of : 

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

This ticket gives access to the whole estate of Versailles.

24 €

Buy

32 €

Buy

Passport

This ticket gives access to the whole estate of Versailles.
24 €
Read more
Passport

This ticket gives access to the whole estate of Versailles (Palace, Estate of Trianon and the gardens). Book online and enter to the Palace in the half hour following the chosen time.

It includes :

To make the most of the Estate of Versailles, the Gardens are open from 8am, the Estate of Trianon from 12pm, the Gallery of Coaches from 12.30pm.

Tickets can be purchased on site subject to availability.

Low season rate

24 € Buy

High season rate

32 € Buy

Palace ticket

This ticket gives you access to the Palace.

21 €

Buy

Palace ticket

This ticket gives you access to the Palace.
21 €
Read more
Palace ticket

This ticket guarantees access to the palace of Versailles. Book online and enter to the Palace in the half hour following the chosen time.

In order for you to make the most of the Estate of Versailles, the Gardens are open from 8am, the Estate of Trianon from 12pm., the Gallery of Coaches from 12.30pm.

The Passport guarantees access to the Estate of Versailles (Palace, Estate of Trianon and their Gardens).

Tickets can be purchased on site subject to availability.

Rates

21 € 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.

Louis XV the Well-Beloved