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The Crack Magazine

ushaw - The Latona Fountain, Versailles (detail), 1678 courtesy of Ushaw Historic House - resized.png

Shock of the Lou

A taste of Versailles as experienced by King Louis XIV is coming to Ushaw this spring.

And this exhibition has a show-stopping first in the shape of some of the rarest books in European history. Never before seen in public, the first edition volumes known as the ‘Cabinet du Roi’ or ‘King’s Cabinet’ will be on display along with scores of detailed engravings captured within their pages. These will be arranged at a spectacular scale, with some sections set up to re-create the grandeur of parts of the Palace of Versailles that no long exist. Among these will be a complete representation of The Ambassadors’ staircase, and a reconstruction of the illusionistic ceiling, which was developed in 1752. These enlargements will be a fascinating window into the life and tastes of The Sun King, Louis XIV.

The Power of Image: Versailles and The Sun King, until 25 June, Ushaw, Durham, ushaw.org