Travel: Culture & Architecture

Paris: Looking Up, Part Two

Ceilings of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. I’m a bit overdue with this second part. I had forgotten that I had created this as a draft way back in January when I posted the first portion of Paris ceilings. Well, the photographs had been corrected and uploaded, but the copy hadn’t been written. And all this time I was thinking I had days of work yet to do. So I procrastinated.

Hôtel de Soubise, 1709–1740

(above) From 1735 to 1740, Germain Boffrand created the Rococo apartments for the Prince and Princess of Soubise. Above is the Prince’s oval salon which overlooks the garden.
(above) Another detail of the Prince of Soubise’s oval salon.
(above) The Princess’s apartments were on the first floor directly above the Prince’s apartments. Her floor plan is exactly the same, but her interiors are far more elaborate.
(above) The ceiling of the Princess’s oval salon.
(above) A ceiling detail of the Princess’s salon.
(above) The entry door to Princess’s oval salon.

Palais du Luxembourg

(above) The Luxembourg Palace in now The French Senate and is only open to the public one weekend of the year. Originally built for Marie de Médicis, it was enlarged and remodeled as a legislative building after the French Revolution. This ceiling belongs to a reception room at the top of the neoclassical stair of honor. At one time the stair had been a long gallery where the famous Ruben paintings of Marie de Médicis were displayed, and this reception room had been the Queen’s chamber.
(above) This wing containing the Senate Library was added by Alphonse de Gisors in 1835.
(above) This new library’s ceiling contains a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. This photo is of the center section with Dante’s Inferno by Delacroix.
(above) In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences (inspired by the Galerie d’Apollon of the Louvre), which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
(above) Detail of the Salle des Conférences ceiling.
(above) The ceiling of the Salle du Livre d’Or. Nothing remains today of the interiors from Marie de Médicis time save some architectural fragments reassembled in the Salle du Livre d’Or.
(above) The ceiling of one of the smaller reception rooms of Napoleon III’s Louvre apartments.
(above) The Grand Salon. The Napoleon III apartments, which served as the Ministry of State, were built in 1861 in the Aile Richelieu along the Rue de Rivoli.
(above) The ceiling of the Grand Salon.
(above) From the Grand Salon you enter the Salon théâtre.
(above) The ceiling of the Salon théâtre.
(above) The Great Dining Room.
(above) The ceiling of the Great Dining Room.
(above) This large courtyard is known as the Cour Marly where a collection of sculptures commissioned by Louis XIV now resides. In 1993, I.M. Pei and Michel Macary covered this old courtyard with glass in the same mode as the newly installed glass pyramid.

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