The marbles of King Louis XIV’s sumptuous decor at the palace in Versailles

The Venus Salon at Versailles. Photo: RMN / Wikimedia Commons

The book titled „Marbles of Occitania“ sheds a new light on the natural stones and where they came from / Versions in English and French

Numerous varieties of marble are displayed at Château of Versailles, the residence of the kings of France. The stones were chosen according to the esthetic desires of King Louis XIV, and it was finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert who first had to carry out an investigation about the availability of stones within the kingdom and at the neighboring countries.

The walls of the palace were clad with beautiful white stone from nearby Versailles. However, the marbles used for other parts often come from regions much further afield: On top stand marbles from Belgium, Italy and Greece, but also stones from the southern regions of France, Occitania in particular, can be found.

They were not only used in the interior but also in the exterior for certain sculptures, fountains, and columns, which adorn the gardens.

Cover of the book.

René Fabre, a specialist in marble, has taken a full inventory of Versailles’ marbles for this book entitled „Versailles and the Marbles of Occitania“. Geologist Suzanne Raynaud has added further information about what constitutes each marble, and the way nature created them and gave them their characteristic colors and patterns.

Both autors invite the reader to take an artistic journey on the nature and sources of these marbles, especially those from Occitania, and to uncover the incredible richness and harmony of their compositions.

This publication sheds a new light on the sumptuous decor that delights visitors, whether they originate from far-off countries or indeed from Occitania.

The reader also explores the region of Occitania in the south of France and discover its rich heritage.

The book is available in English („Versailles and the Marbles of Occitania“) and French („Versailles et les Marbres d’Occitanie“) for 48 € each.

Orders at the webpage of Pierre Actual magazine: English or French.

Source: Pierre Actual

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(11.10.2018, USA: 10.11.2018)