To What extent do the architecture and the decoration of the Palais du Luxembourg help us to understand the role of royal courts in the early seventeenth century France?
The Palais du Luxembourg was designed in the early 17th century for Queen Marie de medias; she was the Florentine wife of Henry VI. The palace remained in royal hands until 1789 when the Revolution started it then became a prison. Today it houses the French senate.
Architecture in palaces in the 17th century was there to make a statement about their intentions. It also was to been seen as a symbol as absolute monarchy. Monarchs were to “maintain a suitably magnificent elevated estate.”
Drewer the architecture also became famous for his designs of the Petite Palace in Florence, where Marie was brought up, that is why there is an Italian feel to the palace, although it is in Paris. Decorations, embellishments and Rubens paintings adorn the walls of the large galleries. All these combined show images of power and glory throughout the monarchy.
Many of the painting that are in the palace seem to have some symbolic act, like Rubens painting of Marie showing the “queen as the goddess Junis, with a bundle of arrows tied together which is representing France.”(TV1) Giving the symbolic meaning of peace and stability during her time. All other painting throughout various kings and queens reigns all to seem to have a symbolic representation; others showed the kings and queens as being equal to the gods, powerful and military. All paintings were very bold and dramatic. Words cannot describe the power of the people but the paintings show them.
Some of the many statues that represent mothers of famous rulers make it apparent that the palace was “commissioned by queens.” Others may represent peace and war. Gods like Hercules were to used as” classical history and mythology played a big part in the designs of the palaces.”
Rooms were layed down by mathematical proportion. This form of government resembles the divinity and perfection. Some of the palace takes on the classic symmetry whilst being contrasted with the Tudor buildings of old white hall. This part was described as “too handsome for the rest of the palace.”. Some of the styles contrast with each other, as other rulers took over. The orseteer style which is owed to the renaissance decoration and the more classical architecture.
The hall of war is a vast and decorative hall of mirrors. The mirrors display splendor and luxury, as they were extremely expensive and difficult to make.
Older buildings were incorporated into a new scheme giving continuity and innovation. Towers were symbolic giving the meaning of military strength.
Its buildings and gardens showed the image of a great monarchy. It was very important that the palaces be well “furnished and filled with all manor of valuable objects”.
Throughout all the years and various reigns the monarchy “continued the grand building projects”.All the extravagant paintings, statue decorations give strenghth, authority, prestige and this strengthens the realm. This was an important contribution to the way in which the monarchy was perceived.