As promised, photos of the gardens of Versailles, the apogee of the French formal garden style, designed by landscape architect Andre Le Notre for King Louis XIV of France (September 5, 1638 – September 1, 1715). With itinerant photographer MB Maher in town briefly for a friend’s wedding, I was able to shake his coat upside down and turn the pockets out for photos from his recent travels. He’s already back to England, then again to France, so do contact him here for any inquiries or just to chat about projects, or if even just for a drink in the local tavern, where he’ll probably leap over the bar and take over mixology duties. He’s an omnivorous fellow interested in just about everything.
Ready for a stroll? Properly attired, bewigged, perfumed, and powdered? Ladies should be outfitted something like this, give or take a few decades in the evolution of costume:
Glenn Close, Dangerous Liaisons, image found here.
Cue the rustle of satin and taffeta swishing over gravel walkways, the whispered plans for afternoon trysts, the rhythmic, metallic clipping and snipping by fleets of gardeners as they maintain the miles of hedges and topiary (presaging a somewhat more reactionary use of sharp cutting instruments to be used upon Louis XIV’s descendants).
Prepare to be awed at what the Sun King has wrought.
“By the beginning of the seventeenth century, with a Medici as Queen of France, the royal palace gardens in Paris were largely Italian in plan.”
— Hugh Johnson, The Principles of Gardening