|Title:||Performing Power and Prestige: the Great Fêtes in the Gardens of Versailles|
|Authors:||Johnston, Rachelle Nadine|
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
School of Letters, Art and Media.
Department of Art History and Film Studies.
|Abstract:||Versailles has attracted a great deal of research concerned with determining the iconographical and political connection of this residence to the age of absolutism in France. Louis XIV’s château is vast and elaborate and is an exemplar of the power of France and of King Louis XIV. The gardens of Versailles have similarly been extended a formidable position in history, for they exemplify the myriad ways in which the arts were unified under Louis XIV to achieve a solidification of power. Research concerned with Versailles has positioned the gardens as the dominant cultural and political centre of Louis XIV’s reign, stipulating that in many ways it was the gardens more so than the château that generated the power of the king. This dissertation explores the manner in which festivity, theatricality and myth together transported, and in fact were fundamental in creating, an image of Louis XIV as the Sun God absolute. Analysing the fête held at Vaux-le-Vicomte in 1661, the king's Carrousel of 1662, and the three great outdoor fêtes Louis XIV himself staged in the gardens of Versailles, it is clear that Louis XIV used grand outdoor performances to progressively stage and shift the representation of his power before the French court. Fusing garden design and court play and manipulating design concepts in line with the theoretical underpinnings of each of the performances, the great fêtes enabled a revelation and lived courtier experience of the king's magnificence, divinity, and cosmic power. An analysis of the engravings, maps, and plans of the entertainments, as well as the official accounts and memoirs of members of the court who attended the fêtes, illustrates they were the primary vehicle through which the power of the king was enacted, and the gardens themselves given ideological and structural form. This dissertation challenges existing scholarship on Louis XIV and insists that the very notion of Louis XIV as the Sun God absolute, first championed at Versailles and heralded until this day, would not have been fully achieved without the great fêtes of 1664, 1668 and 1674.|
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|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.|
|Type of Work:||PhD Doctorate|
|Type of Publication:||Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|
|Johnston_Rachelle_Thesis_1.pdf||PhD Thesis 1||1.94 MB||Adobe PDF|
|Johnston_Rachelle_Thesis_2.pdf||PhD Thesis 2||9.44 MB||Adobe PDF|
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