Versailles in England
Versailles was the most influential palace in the 17th century, admired and imitated throughout Europe. The English court, however, could not afford to create anything as grand as its European counterparts and yet eventually adapted French Baroque style in a most remarkable way. This lecture considers the extensive gardens recorded by Kip and Knyff, the recently restored Privy Garden at Hampton Court, and the original gardens at Blenheim Palace, created for John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, the man who conquered Louis XIV. The English reaction to French style will also be considered: to what extent was the creation of the English Landscape Garden in the 18th century a political reaction to French style? Finally, we will consider what elements of the French Baroque gardens survived and what debt modern gardeners owe to this most famous garden.