Mass under Louis XIV
10am 1702. A procession is beginning to take shape in the Hall of Mirrors. The King, followed by his courtiers, walks through the State Apartments. The crowd gathered to watch the procession finally catches a glimpse of the monarch.
The King sits in the gallery of the Royal Chapel to attend Mass, for around thirty minutes. Every day, the “Chapelle Musique” choir, which was famous throughout Europe, would sing a new piece composed by Lully, De Lalande, or others.
The Royal Chapel
Today’s chapel is in fact the Palace’s fifth. It was built according to plans by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and completed in 1710 under the direction of Robert de Cotte. Above the entrance, the royal gallery was reserved for the sovereign and his family.
The side galleries were for the princes of the blood and the main dignitaries of the Court. The other followers were on the ground floor. Some even preferred to watch Louis XIV instead of the altar during the mass.
The Holy Spirit descending on the Virgin and the Apostles or Pentecost by Jean JouvenetPalace of Versailles
The Holy Spirit Descending
The Holy Spirit Descending on the Virgin and the Apostles or Pentecost, 1709. Jean Jouvenet has given impetus to the scene with the grandiose gestures of the angels and other characters as well as the fact that most of them are looking at the dove of the Holy Spirit encircled with light.
The Resurrection of Christ by Charles de La FossePalace of Versailles
The Resurrection of Christ
In 1707 La Fosse was commissioned to paint the Resurrection of Christ on the quarter-sphere vault of the apse, directly above the high altar. The position of Jesus in his glory, arms wide open, responds to the figure of the Father depicted on the vault of the nave.
OrganPalace of Versailles
Exceptionally, the instrument is placed above the altar, opposite the gallery where the king and the royal family attended mass.