Stephanie Bower

Stephanie Bower | Architectural Illustration: | Sketching Workshops: | Sketches: & | Urban Sketchers Blog Correspondent | Signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Still Inside the Galerie des Glaces

This was actually the first sketch I did. One naturally looks up to the ceiling, plus my views toward the windows on the left were blocked by the masses of tourists, so it became a vertical sketch.

The Hall of Mirrors, or Galerie des Glaces, was started in 1678 by Mansart, who filled in a terrace and took over a few interior rooms to create this space.  It is symmetrically on axis with the vast view of the vast gardens.  For me, though, it was difficult to see the view out from the space.  I had originally thought I could have drawn the axial view to the gardens for my Gabriel Prize project, but it was too hard to see with the windows/doors closed to the outside.

Mirrors were extremely expensive to produce during the 1600's as the technology of the time made it very difficult to produce large sheets of glass...but workers were brought from Italy and the glass was made.  Today we don't see them as particularly large panes of glass, but it was a major production triumph and a major expense for that time.  To the courtiers, it must have been quite spectacular then, as it is still pretty over-the-top spectacular now.  After so many dark rooms throughout the palace, it is a relief to get to this space which sparkles with light and gold.  And after all, Louis XIV was the Sun King.

Difficult to draw and full of people, the Galerie des Glaces still
shimmers.  It was great to get the special permssion
to draw inside the chateau--my thanks to the Versailles Museum
for the opportunity.


  1. Stephanie, this shows so such space and openness, and your palette is just perfect. The inclusion of the crow is perfect to so scale. Very very nicely done.

    1. wow my typing is bad, - so much space - and the crowd is perfect, not the crow

    2. Hi Edward, crow or crowd, thank you for your wonderful comment! The blue and yellow got things a little too muddy in the vertical shot, so I went to gray for the horizontal view.
      Thanks for checking out my sketches--it is appreciated!