Colloque : « Enchanted Isles, Fatal Shores: Living Versailles » (Australie, NGA, 17-18 mars 2017)

On the occasion of the Versailles: Treasures from the Palace exhibition at the NGA, which brings major works of art from the Palace of Versailles to Canberra, this conference showcases the latest ideas about the lives of past people and objects, as well as the living culture of Versailles today.

Staged in Canberra, which like Versailles is a planned capital city, centre of government and culture, this is a unique opportunity to explore the enduring influence and resonance of Versailles, its desires and self-perceptions of modernity, from film to fashion to architecture. Gathering a generation of scholars whose work is shifting our perceptions of the art, culture and life of ancien-régime Versailles and its reception, this is the occasion for fresh and challenging research, and new perspectives on canon-defining works.

1664 is formative in the history of Versailles—the year a modest hunting lodge began to be transformed, to become a centre of art, fashion and power in Europe for more than a century. The dream of Versailles as an enchanted isle for the French aristocracy came to a grisly end with the 1789 revolution. Only two years later, the first fleet of British colonists came to settle on the east coast of Australia, on what Robert Hughes famously dubbed ‘the fatal shore’. Life at Versailles changed irreparably just as it would for those who lived in, and migrated to, Australia at the close of the eighteenth century.

Versailles was not the static creation of one man but a hugely complex cultural space, a centre of power, of life, love, anxiety and creation, as well as an enduring palimpsest of aspirations, desires and ruptures. The splendour of the castle, and the masterpieces of art and design it contains, masks a more sordid history. The conference’s theme, Enchanted isles, fatal shores, encourages examination of the tensions between splendour and misery, insiders and outsiders, display and privacy that framed life at Versailles.

Live streaming

The Enchanted Isles, Fatal Shores: Living Versailles Conference will be live streamed from the Australian National University School of Art & Design Facebook on Friday March 17 (10:00-16:30 AEST) and Saturday March 18 (09:30-16:30 AEST)



F R I D A Y ,  1 7  M A R C H  2 0 1 7

10.00  Director’s Welcome

10.30  Session One: Making the Palace
• Hannah Williams (London), The Other Palace: Versailles and the Louvre
• Wolf Burchard (National Trust, UK), At the Centre of the World: Charles Le Brun’s Ambassadors Staircase at Versailles
• Bénédicte Gady (Louvre), The Grands Décors of Charles Le Brun: Between Plan and Serendipity

1.00  Session Two: The Culture Industry
• Sing d’Arcy (UNSW), Heavenly Voice, Earthly Bodies: The Physical Presence of Music Making in the Architectural Space of Versailles
• Matthew Martin (NGV), Porcelain and Power: The Meaning of Porcelain in Ancien Régime France
• Florian Knothe (HKU), Artisans du Roi: Collaborations at the Gobelins, Louvre and the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture under the Influence of the Petite Académie

3.00  Session Three: Living at Versailles
• Mimi Hellman (Skidmore), (Re)Imagining the ‘Government’ of a Royal Governess
• Sarah Grant (V&A), Courting Favour: The Apartments and Residence of the Princess of Lamballe at Versailles
• Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell (LA), Bigwigs: Hair, Politics, and Power at the Court of Versailles

S A T U R D A Y ,  1 8  M A R C H  2 0 1 7

9.30  Session Four: Outsiders
• David Maskill (Wellington), A Turk in the Hall of Mirrors
• Meredith Martin (NYU/IFA), From Port to Palace: Maritime Art and Mediterranean Servitude at Louis XIV’s Versailles (via video link)
• Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide (Met), Outside Insider: Cornelis Hop (1685–1762), Dutch Ambassador to the Court of Louis XV

11.30  Session Five: Representation
• Mark de Vitis (USyd), The Politics of Embellishment in Prints of Louis XIV
• Louis Marchesano (Getty), Strategies of Engraving and Etching in Description de la Grotte de Versailles 1676
• Sophie Matthiesson (NGV), From Fountains of Apollo to Fountains of Liberty: Artificial Landscapes as Political Spectacle in Eighteenth-Century France

2.00  Session Six: Versailles Now
• Allison Holland (Perth), Reverberations of Japanese Art at Versailles
• Jennifer Ferng (USyd), American Versailles: Kitsch Opulence, Capitalism and McMansion Dreams in Florida
• Robert Wellington (ANU), Tanned by the Sun King: Donald Trump and Louis XIV

3.30  Round Table


Enchanted Isles, Fatal Shores: Living Versailles
NGA, the Australian National University, and the University of Sydney, 17–18 March 2017

Organized by Mark Ledbury, Robert Wellington, and Lucina Ward


Source :

Benjamin Ringot

Adjoint au directeur scientifique, Responsable enseignement et formation Centre de recherche du château de Versailles

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Benjamin Ringot

Adjoint au directeur scientifique, Responsable enseignement et formation Centre de recherche du château de Versailles

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