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Robert Polidori: Parcours Muséologique Revisité Hardcover – Box set, October 27, 2009
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The work of the author too is an inspiration: it shows the renovation of a part of Versailles, truly a behind the seen view not seen since the palace was visited by the various kings and queens who oversaw its initial construction.
It is an historical documentation with a wry expression of insight: by the photographer, by the publisher, and by those of the conservators maintaining the heritage of France. Each rely on the other to accomplish--brilliantly--this 3 volume set of books well worth the price.
For those collecting fine books but also as a legacy to be passed down or on to those who love exquisite books.
The quality of the photography reproductions is not to be topped. In addition each photograph is identified by location and date- which helps to see the transformation/changes that took place at Versailles over the years. The photographs are also not just the beautiful State Rooms of French Royalty; we are also taken on a journey through the back halls, staircases and other inaccessible places throughout the palace complex- an amazing journey.
A must have for readers interested in France, Versailles, history, decoration, arts, etc.
The actual photographs, which you can see in museums, galleries and auction houses, are even more impressive: http://www.yatzer.com/robert-polidori-versailles.
Don't be fooled by the book description above: this is not a book about the Chateau de Versailles nor its history; this is a photo book about PHOTOGRAPHY of ART that happens to be on exhibit or storage (or even absent) at Versailles.
The randomly scattered interior architecture photos of the palace are few and incomprehensible to the non-expert because captions refer only the current room/location designation. Without a plan it's impossible to locate them within the palace.
Art photos depict mostly paintings, and do so in some unconventional or bizarre perspectives. There are photos of rooms in repairs with or without paintings, corners of paintings, wrapped paintings, covered paintings, scattered busts, empty rooms, paintings on a wall, empty walls and so on. The entire third volume is just about chosen paintings details. Captions are limited to the painting's title, painter, date of painting, current name of room in the palace and photo's date.
If you are interested in unconventional art photography this book might be for you. But you better be sure because the huge weight of this encased three volume set won't encourage you to returning it.
Weird perspectives apart, technically the photos are top quality, as well as their printing and the paper they are printed on: this is a very high quality photography work.
So this work will be of interest to art photography lovers, but not to Chateau de Versailles enthusiasts more interested in its architecture.