MAGNIFICENCE AND GRANDEUR OF THE ROYAL HOUSES IN EUROPE
From July 11 to September 11, 2011
As a nod to the marriage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and Miss Charlène Wittstock, the 2011 summer exhibition invites the public to a true journey through time from the seventeenth to the twentieth century in the heart of twenty European courts to meet great imperial, royal and princely figures.
The concept of the exhibition, jointly developed by Catherine Arminjon, general curator of heritage, Patricia Bouchenot-Dechin, historian and researcher associated with the research centre at the Palace of Versailles, and Wilfried Zeisler, art historian in charge of Russia, is based on a choice of historical figures who have marked these Courts with their personalities or their actions over the centuries. The scenographic layout follows the geography of Europe from the 17th to the 20th century, starting in Portugal and Spain, heading towards France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands, continuing its way towards Northern Europe, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, then towards the East with Russia, Poland and Germany before finishing this grand tour in Austria, Italy and, of course, Monaco. More than seven hundred works – portraits, sculptures, works of art, furniture, porcelain, goldworks, costumes, jewellery – immerse visitors into the heart of the lives of these figures and couples who have marked the history of their dynasties and countries.
Their actions in the fields of art, history and science are also highlighted, painting the portrait of an era for each Court. The works that were chosen, a considerable challenge for curators, were at times prestigious or astonishing, official or more intimate in order to "tell" a story. The lenders – castles, palaces, museums and foundations – have taken part with remarkable generosity, making it possible to connect to the future through the past.