Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ON THE LOOKOUT

À l'ancien hôtel des Gendarmes

Two false corner windows, one on the ground floor or rez-de-chaussée and one on the first floor, of the 18th century headquarters of Louis XV's gendarmes have become photo-op stops for those going on a trompe l'oeil safari in Versailles. In the fake windows, members of the École d'Art Mural de Versailles painted constables donned in period police uniforms and using a hand-held telescope to keep an eye on passers-by. A particularly well-suited choice because the building, constructed in 1735, now houses the larger Versailles urban area's video surveillance operations.

The building's painted faux red brickwork is characteristic of the façades of many 17th- and 18th- century Versailles edifices. The idea behind this baroque architectural curiosity was to imitate the theme of Louis XIII's red brick, white stone, and slate roofed hunting lodge, around which Louis XIV had built the palace of Versailles. 

Vocabulary
une longue-vue:  a telescope
un gendarme:  a policeman; a civil guard


For a smattering of more works graciously realized by the École d'Art Mural de Versailles, click on these links:
The Gardner's New Clothes
Snack Time
In All Manner of Ways
Slowly But Surely

©2016 P.B. Lecron

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