Photographer's Note

Versailles was the unofficial capital city of the kingdom of France from May 1682 until September 1715 and then again from June 1722 to October 1789. During the entire period, Paris remained the official capital city of France, and the official royal palace was the Palace of the Louvre, but in practice government affairs were conducted from Versailles, and Versailles was regarded as the real capital city. Back in 1623, Louis XIII - father of Louis XIV - built a 'hunting lodge, a little gentleman's chateau' of brick, stone, and slate at Versailles. The king liked it so much that he soon had it enlarged by his 'royal engineer and architect', Philibert Le Roy. Then from 1661 to 1668 the young Louis XIV had his own architect, Louis Le Vau, embellish the residence. From 1668 to 1670 Louis Le Vau built the 'envelope', which entailed wrapping the old chateau in a second building whose uniformly white stone facades served as a fine garden setting. In May 6, 1682, Versailles became the official residence of the Court of France, supplanting the palaces at the Louvre and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. From 1678 to 1684, meanwhile, the terrace of the new chateau was transformed into the Hall of Mirrors, symbolizing the power of the absolute monarch. Feverish building activity then gave birth to the North and South Wings, the Orangery, Stables, and Grand Lodgings. The last major feature built during the reign of Louis XIV, the Chapel Royal, was completed in 1710.

Here we see the central courtyard of the Versailles Palace from one of the two symmetric archways leading to the park. The shot was taken in winter, so the white thing on the ground to the right and left of the central perspective is snow. I have used Ilford B&W film and later added a touch of sepia in PP. The original B&W version is in the workshop.

Scanned from printed photo

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Additional Photos by Alexander Pasternak (pasternak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1341 W: 179 N: 3373] (15185)
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