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  • Fiona Prior

Versailles: Treasures from the Palace

Versailles, Treasures from the Palace

My knowledge of walking through the grounds and building of Versaille will always be linked with a Jeff Koons exhibition that was installed at Versaille at the time – Michael Jackson and his monkey, that famous Koon’s puppy, giant rabbits, and other works. Jeff Koon’s exhibition worked surprisingly well inside Versaille, and rather appropriately the original Sun King, and the Koon’s more contemporary golden Gods played beautifully together.

Of course, the absolute wow factor of Versaille (with or without MJ or puppies) made it impossible to focus on the details of this amazing property. The Versaille exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia allows you this scrutiny and though still spectacular, those cavernous hallways and sweeping grounds have been replaced by the somewhat more humble walls of the NGA.

“More than 130 paintings, intricate tapestries, gilded furniture items, monumental statues and other objects from the royal gardens, and personal items from Louis XIV to Marie Antoinette, will bring to life the reigns of three Kings, their Queens and mistresses in a fascinating and often tumultuous period of French history.

An era of pleasure, at least within the boundaries of Versaille, you can see the blueprints for the most wonderful amusements including fireworks by the lake, themed parties in the gardens, and the most spectacular water shows.

The NGA, with master perfumer, Francis Kurkdjian, has scented the foyer of the exhibition space with a fragrance inspired by Louis XIV to create an immersive and unforgettable exhibition experience. A decadent touch for an exhibition that is all about self-indulgence.

National Gallery of Australia

Until 17 April

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