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.