Pomp and Power: Drawings From Versailles, a lavish and beautiful catalogue, illustrates and discusses fifty-two French drawings dating from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, all from the Chateau de Versailles, which owns one of the finest collections of French drawings in the world. Yet the drawings are little known and have never been discussed and reproduced in colour as a group. Drawings as well as paintings once adorned the royal apartments at Versailles - especially the more private ones - but were dispersed in the French Revolution.
Following his accession in 1830, however, Louis-Philippe collected as many as he could together again, and they have been supplemented over time. Together, they tell the story of the major buildings at Versailles, its gardens, the court and the personalities associated with this famous palace of Louis XIV and later French kings.
Among the artists represented are many of the major figures of this magnificent period of French art, including Le Brun, Lemoine, Cochin, Claude-Joseph and Horace Vernet, Jean-Baptiste Isabey, Paul Delaroche and Jacques-Louis David - whose splendid compositional study for his Oath of the Tennis Court, the event that marked the beginning of the French Revolution, is of particular interest.