Versailles, courtesy of Google’s Art Project

Yes, I know, this is old news, but would this blog still deserve its name of Versailles and more if I failed to mention that Google’s Art Project, which features some of the foremost museums in the world, allows its viewers to discover the Palace of Versailles and what may be its most famous painting, the lifesize portrait of Marie-Antoinette and her children by Louise-Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun?

On the Palace of Versailles link, please make sure you use the Navigate Floor Plan feature, to the right of the screen. It will take you on a tour of the Grands Appartements (sans the habitual throngs of fellow visitors that can make it reminiscent of the metro at rush hour, and also, I am sure, the pre-revolutionary palace in its heyday.)

As for the portrait of Marie-Antoinette, you can explore the painting in amazing detail, far more so than during an actual visit of Versailles. I am working on a post dedicated to Madame Vigee-Lebrun’s masterpiece, and can’t wait to share my thoughts about it.

I tried various browsers for this, and (surprise…) found that Google Chrome allows for the best experience. Enjoy your visit!


Marie-Antoinette and her children, by Elisabeht Vigee-Lebrun


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10 Comments to “Versailles, courtesy of Google’s Art Project”

  1. Ree says:

    Enjoyed the rather “camp” treatment of the life of MA by Ms. Coppola…But would LOVE to see a multi-part series done on the life of this fascinating woman…Very BBC-esque…Perfect costumes,headdress,settings…Yes…EXPENSIVE…But it could be fabulous…!!!

  2. Do you have a copy of this image, or a link to it?

  3. Charles Gregory says:

    Do you have information on art featuring the “new Dauphin”,Louis Charles, after the death of his brother?
    I have seen a black and white image of him by J B Greuze but cannot find the location of this art.
    The child would be about 4 to 5 years old and is holding a ball.

  4. Penny, all the more reason for me to finish my post on the painting! After the death of the Dauphin Louis-Joseph, MA had this painting moved to another place because she could no longer stand to look at it: it was a reminder of the dead child, the long awaited heir.

  5. Penny says:

    oh and I still love the portrait, it is faithfully reproduced in the Lever biography.

  6. Penny says:

    I stand corrected Catherine, I was thinking of the salon scene in the EMV book and had forgotten the earlier death and I am not finished with my bio (lever) of M-A. but she loved the children she still had I thought the heir was pointing to the cradle for his brother because one finger is pointing at him but yes, she is mourning the lost child. Probably worried about Louis Joseph, the Dauphin.

  7. A happy mother? Here MA had just lost little Madame Sophie (formerly in the cradle) and the her elder boy, the Dauphin Louis-Joseph, was already terribly sick from bone TB. He would die of it a few years later, in the spring of 1789.

  8. Penny says:

    I am using google chrome right now and am enjoying this painting, it is the one mentioned in EMV’s Madame Royale novel in a salon in which her gentleman in waiting to talks to Vigee Le Brun about this painting. I particularly like the little heir pointing to the crib while the queen is being regal and M-R is holding onto mommy even though she is old enough to stand by herself. the older boy seems so playful in his pointing at the crib. M-A was a happy mother.

  9. I agree that it is a beautiful place, but living there? Let’s remember that it was designed for and by Louis XIV, a man who was NEVER cold, and loved to have windows wide open in the middle of winter. The only thing that resembled modern comfort was his glorious bathroom suite on the ground floor (he loved luxurious baths) but that was later destroyed.

  10. Kate Warren says:

    What a beautiful place. Can you imagine living there?

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