A Study to recreate the Great Entertainments produced at Versailles under Louis XIV

The main aim of this applied research programme is to compare a historic approach and a practical experiment and to consider recreating some of the great festivities of the reign, those held in 1664, 1668 and 1674.

The team of researchers and practitioners in this programme intend to check all existing sources (archives, texts, iconography, music) and analyse them according to specific criteria defined by entertainment professionals, for example lighting, sound effects, choice of setting, audience safety and comfort, movement around the site, size of audience, effects, etc. It will also involve a prosopographic study of all the actors and extras in these events so as to make it easier to place the entertainments in their social, political, economic and artistic contexts and no longer consider them in isolation.


Project leader: Raphaël Masson, curator for heritage, library and archives manager at the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles;

Hervé Burckel de Tell, Director General of the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles (CMBV);

Christophe Doînel, administrator at the Atelier d’études du CMBV;

Benoît Dratwicki, artistic director and researcher at the CMBV;

Jean Duron, publications director and researcher at the CMBV;

Jean-Paul Gousset, technical director at the Opéra royal and other theatres in the Palace of Versailles;

Joël Huthwohl, Director of the Performing Arts Department at the Bibliothèque nationale de France;

Jérôme de La Gorce, Director of Research at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique;

Jean-Noël Laurenti, lecturer in French Literature at the Université de Pau, President of the Association pour un Centre de Recherche sur les Arts du Spectacle;

Thomas Leconte, researcher at the CMBV.


>  International symposium “The Monarch and Music : Louis XIV’s musical passions” 20, 21 and 22 September 2007 at the Palace of Versailles with publication of proceedings.

>  Study days “Restoration and creation in the restaging of works from the 17th and 18th centuries”, 29, 30 and 31 May 2008 at Versailles and in Nantes with publication of proceedings.

>  Uploading a corpus raisonné on celebrations (in french) organised at Versailles by Louis XIV in 1664, 1668 and 1674, based on research into the sources covered by this research programme.

Website produced with the support of:
Château de Versailles
Conseil général des Yvelines