Monday, May 11, 2009


Friday Steve and I left The Cazaudehore and Saint Germain en Laye for the last time (at least for this trip) and we stopped to see Versailles before heading to his cousin's for a long weekend.

The grandeur of Versailles is breathtaking. Given the disparity between the ostentatious wealth of the aristocracy and the poverty of the populace one realizes that revolt was inevitable.

The Hall of Mirrors, pictures do not do it justice.

Versailles could be called the castle of marble. The marble throughout is exquisite as are all of the crystal chandeliers.

Of all of the artwork on display in the castle, the piece I most enjoyed was David's
"Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2 December 1804." The original is on display in The Louvre and the painting in Versailles is a second painting done by David at the request of Napoleon.

The ethereal beauty and grace of Josephine as captured by David literallybrought tears to my eyes. The splendor, the pageantry, the artistry and artisanship of Napoleon's coronation, the likes of which we would never see today, are astonishing. It is fortunate that it was all captured in David's paintings since little, if any, of the vestments remain today.


  1. perfect way to record such an event. although, when you think of the misery imposed by this duo the beauty begins to fade.


  2. Yes, that is exactly right. It is a hard dichotomy for the brain (at least mine) to handle.

    It is also odd to see Josephine in such an angelic light in the coronation painting knowing her somewhat sordid past. Nonetheless it is a beautiful rendering of her and the event.