Sunday, June 1, 2014

French Historical Interiors - Art Moulding at Versailles

To have beauty in art and design where one cannot fully see it is a pity. The purpose was to impress in a setting of luxury. The following images are all from Versailles.



Ceiling Detail at Versailles, France, by DG Hudson


Plaster used for moldings is formed by mixing dry powder with water to form a paste. It can then be worked and shaped with metal tools and sandpaper to a specific shape. Plaster can refer to gypsum plaster (plaster of Paris), lime plaster, or cement plaster.



Ceiling Detail Closeup at Versailles, France, by DG Hudson


A large gypsum deposit in Montmartre in Paris led gypsum plaster to be commonly known as 'plaster of Paris'. Many great murals in Europe, such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling are painted in fresco, or the paint is applied to a thin layer of wet plaster. The pigments then merge with the plaster layer to form a very durable surface.

 The Louvre Museum also has extensive mouldings since it too was a palace.







These two images above and below show the intricate detail that can be carved or molded to fit the shape or size required. Plaster can be worked easier than stone or wood, and is lighter. Seeing the detail in the construction of such a grand palace helps us understand why the French treasury was drained in part by this project.



Versailles Ceiling Art and Mouldings, by DG Hudson


Click to see more Ceiling Art at Versailles

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Are you interested in information about historical places? Do you get curious about how things are done? Have you visited Versailles? Any other castles or churches you have visited with interesting architecture and ceilings?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for dropping by! I'll respond.


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References

Basic Plaster Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaster

A post on Ceiling art at Versailles and the Louvre Museum
http://dghudson-rainwriting.blogspot.ca/2012/04/v-versailles-palace-to-z-challenge.html

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11 comments:

  1. Aren't those gorgeous. And, whaaat? You know, I never once put that together about plaster of Paris. Interesting. :)

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    1. Well, first you have to know that limestone was quarried from under Paris. Plaster has been around for a long time as a building material.

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  2. I love to visit churches and cathedrals, castles, mansions, quaint old homes.... I love to photograph architecture as much as scenics. Yes, I was at Versailles but I remember being exhausted, plagued with terrible cramps and they took us onto the grounds from a back gate, so it was a long, long walk to the palace. I think I bailed part way on the tour and went back to the tour coach to rest because I felt so awful.

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    1. Poor JoJo, We came in the front gate, but there were hordes of tourists, even our own tour guide bemoaned the fact.

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  3. That was beautiful! I have visited several churches in Quebec, Canada. The sheer size of the church took my breath away. Truly beautiful.

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    1. Quebec is one of those places I haven't seen yet. I've stayed in the west. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

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  4. I loved all of these. Very beautiful. I also feel a bit stupid for never realizing that plaster of Paris is kind of an obvious term.

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    1. Well, plaster has never been high on my lists of things to know until I went to France, and until I read about the underground of Paris. I love it when I find the source of a word. Some things are so obvious that we miss them. . .

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  5. Swoonworthy! These photo are amazing-so much detail-what an art form-thank you for sharing!

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    1. The camera actually sees the art better than the naked eye, and they can't have the lights too bright nearby. Glad you liked the images. I'd like to study them up close. . .but you would have to be on a scaffold.

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  6. I've wondered why it was called Plaster of Paris. Interesting factoid! And gorgeous artwork.

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