LOUIS XIV ARCHITECTURE
The style of Louis XVI (Fourteenth) or Louis Quatorze, varied between the more baroque style imported from Italy at the beginning of his reign, through a period of classicism and ostentation, to be followed by lighter forms and freedom of line. One of the prosperous rulers in Europe, Louis XIV, desired to impress with his magnificent court life. The exuberance is seen in his extravagant festivals, firework displays, statues in his honor, palaces, and fountains to flaunt in front of the public. Characteristics of his style include symmetry, classical ordering, monumental scale, and a central focus. His most famous structures were hotels, chateaux, and his residence, the Palais de Versailles. With the use of stone, brick, wood, and plaster, his buildings were integrated with the urban and natural environment.
The facades are superimposed pilasters with divided walls into bays that define the overall ordering. The window to wall proportion is more remarkable, with the windows extending to the floor and open as doors to porches or balconies. The roofs tend to be mansard, hipped, and flat usually covered in slate pitched steeply. Louis XIV’s Palais de Versailles is a quintessential example of this style. Beautiful detailing inside of this opulent complex, showing off a marble court, a chapel, a gallery of mirrors, the assembly hall, the royal court, a royal opera, a north and south façade, the minister’s court and finished with a statue of Louis XIV himself. Elements of this style had the intention to celebrate the king’s military success, majesty, and cultural achievements.
LOUIS XIV STYLE MOULDINGS
The moldings used in work of this style tend to be eclectic and include simple classical shapes along with robust, bulbous and fluid forms, foliage, ornamented mouldings and often a profuse use of color and extensive gilding.