The Great Galleries of European Palaces in the 17th and 18th centuries: Typology, History, Decor and Use

Coinciding with the restoration of the Hall of Mirrors, this programme resulted in a typological inventory of the most important large galleries found in European palaces, owned, for the most part, by ruling families).

Taking the great galleries used for ceremonial purposes, as communicating passages or for displaying collections, as well as those of historic and official importance, this research programme looks at their role in great iconographic programmes, major events, court life, their impact on art and the suitability of their decor for these purposes. The timescale stretches from the second half of the 17th century to the first half of the 19th century.


Project leader: Claire Constans, honorary general curator of heritage;

Sandra Bazin, doctoral student at the Université Paris-Sorbonne;

Martine Constans, chief curator at the Archives nationales;

Mathieu da Vinha, senior research officer, coordinator for research and training at the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles;

Alden R. Gordon, Professor of the History of Art at Trinity College, Hartford, United States;

Nicos Hadjinicolaou, Professor of the History of Art at the University of Crete, Greece;

Hélène Himelfarb, honorary lecturer in French Literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle — Paris 3;

Jacques Lauga, art historian;

Friedrich Polleross, member of the Institut für Kunstgeschichte at the University of Vienna, Austria;

José-Luis Sancho, historian at the Patrimonio Nacional in Madrid, Spain;

Christina Strunck, art historian at the Villa I Tatti – The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy;

Pascal Torrès, curator at the Musée du Louvre;

Hendrik Ziegler, lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Hamburg, Germany.


>  International symposium “The Great European Galleries”, 13-15 December 2007, Palace of Versailles.

>  Publication of papers from the international symposium “The Great European Galleries” (directed by Claire Constans and Mathieu da Vinha) in the “Aulica” collection, joint publication Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme / Centre de recherche du château de Versailles.

>  Article by Sandra Bazin in the section Mélanges of the Bulletin du Centre de recherche: « L’amé­na­ge­ment et le décor de la gale­rie Doria Pamphilj à Rome ».

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Château de Versailles
Conseil général des Yvelines