Numerous Errors in the 3D Animations at the Château in Versailles

15/6/12 - Unusual - Versailles, Musée national du Château - Bernard Hasquenoph, from the very useful site Louvre pour tous, was the first one to see it : the 3D animations, which take up a considerable amount of space in the new history rooms at Versailles (see article) are partly false. Here are some of the most flagrant mistakes (there are, perhaps, others) found in two of them and in less than four and a half minutes in fact, if considering only the time actually devoted to the historical background !

From Louis XIII to the Revolution :

- at the 17th second, the narrator explains that it all started in 1629. Too bad, it was in 1624. The date appearing on the screen is in fact correct. Visitors do not know which one is right, but after all, what difference does it make give or take five years...

- the first hunting pavilion built by Louis XIII is merely a reconstitution, since there is no trace or representation of the original. But at least it might have respected the only precise mention made, that published by Jean Coural [1] : "the wing at the back had three floors (ground floor, first floor and garret), the side wings only two floors (ground floor and garret)". However, the 3D reconstitution shows side wings with three floors...

Versailles after the French Revolution :

- from the start, the demonstration is purely imaginary : the grille was not destroyed during the Revolution, it was damaged much earlier as explained by Bernard Hasquenoph : "A third of the grille was dismantled in 1771 and replaced by a wooden fence. Two rubble huts with pointed roofs backed up to this fence and a third, but higher topped with a small turret was placed further out in front" (see here).

- furthermore, the inscription : "To all the glories of France" on the pavilion at the end of the Gabriel wing, did not exist, obviously, in 1789, as it dates from the reign of Louis-Philippe.

- this same inscription can be found, on the Dufour pavilion in this case, under Louis XVIII (58th second). This is doubly false and impossible as it never existed and, in any case, certainly not during the Restoration.

- the roofs on the wings surrounding the marble courtyard and the royal courtyard, as well as the chapel, are gilt in all the animations, throughout all the periods, notably in the 19th century which is historically false. Of course, the recent renovations must be justified, as well as the future ones where the roofs will be gilt in order to return to a hypothetical state which is in fact much earlier...

In other words, the presentation is not very professional.

Version française

Didier Rykner, samedi 16 juin 2012


[1] In 1959, our quote is taken from the one presented by François Gebelin in his work Versailles which appeared in 1965.

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