ARCHITECT, French
(active 1660s in Versailles)

Interior view

1660s
Photo
Cour de Marbre, Château, Versailles

For over a century, the immense château in Versailles became a laboratory for decorative arts in France. At a cost sometimes deemed outrageous, the highest quality craftsmanship ever attained in France was achieved and maintained. Despite incessant and haphazard modifications, the essential features of the château, such as the Cour de Marbre and the Galerie des Glaces, were spared, in view of their symbolic significance.

The Cour the Marbre (Marble Court) is the courtyard of the palace built in 1623 by Louis XIII. It is paved with black and white marble which came from the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte. In the 1660s, the façades have been remodeled and enriched with balustrades, busts, statues and vases, by Le Vau and Hardouin-Mansart. The three arched windows of the King's room open to the first floor of the central forecourt, behind a gilded balcony supported by eight marble columns.

The courtyard was modified in the nineteenth century, but it was restored to its original state in the 1980s.