Long research has made it possible to retrace the singular itinerary of these works commissioned by two kings, Louis XIV and Louis XV, and which finally joined the collections of the Palace of Versailles.
One of the last masterpieces of the reign of Louis XIV
This exhibition is designed as an exhibition-dossier around two marble sculptures generously donated by Angola to France. Exceptional works both in terms of their artistic quality and their history, Zéphyr, Flore et l’Amour and L’Abondance will join the collections of Versailles and, after the exhibition, will be presented in the permanent visit route, one in the palace , the other at the Grand Trianon. Commissioned in 1713 to adorn the marble gardens of the Trianon, Zéphyr, Flore et l’Amour is one of the last masterpieces from the end of the reign of Louis XIV.
A unique itinerary
Lionel Arsac, heritage curator in charge of the sculpture collections at the Palace of Versailles, conducted an investigation for many months to find these two sculptures. He was able to retrace the unique itinerary of these works which were found at the Hôtel Éphrussi avenue Foch in Paris, property of the Republic of Angola since 1979, the date on which they were acquired, when the building was purchased. building which houses the headquarters of the embassy in Paris and whose gardens were adorned with these two statues. The two sculptural ensembles, Zéphyr et Flore on the one hand and L’Abondance on the other hand, are now returning to their intended place in the public domain of the Palace of Versailles, since they had been commissioned by King Louis XIV and his successor, Louis XV.
Pieces of history
The exhibition dedicated to them brings back pieces of history and looks back on the art of the end of the reign of Louis XIV, with its pleasant and playful atmosphere, a counterpoint to the pious and austere evolution that we underline habitually. The exhibition also highlights their unique destiny; from the royal order to their entry today into the national collections. In gratitude for Angola’s donation, the Palace of Versailles is making replicas of the two sculpted groups that will take place in the gardens of the Angolan Embassy in Paris and is developing an exchange program with the Angolan State based on the museum management.