Versailles on Paper
Versailles on Paper documented the contemporary representation of Versailles through a multifaceted array of prints, books, maps, medals, and manuscripts. It highlighted in particular those elements that today survive only on paper: ephemeral festivals; short-lived creatures (courtiers, animals, flowers); fragile groves and fountains too costly to maintain; and once celebrated masterpieces of art and architecture that were irrevocably destroyed or altered. The “paper Versailles” is quite different from the one that millions of tourists visit every year and affords many unusual and surprising glimpses into a largely lost world.
All the books and prints selected for display were created in the 17th and 18th centuries. With only a few exceptions, they were selected from the holdings of Firestone and Marquand Libraries, acquired over the past 140 years.