The Galerie d’Apollon, Château de Saint-Cloud, c.1860

‘Galerie d’Apollon’

c.1860

galerie_d_apollon st cloud

One of the most important 17th century interiors in France, the Galerie d’Apollon was located in the royal château of Saint-Cloud, six miles from the centre of Paris. Saint-Cloud was begun in the 16th century but the estate was purchased by Philippe, the Duke of Orleans and brother of Louis XIV, in 1658. Philippe commissioned the French architect Antoine Lepautre to rebuild the house and the Galerie d’Apollon was part of this construction programme. Completed in 1680 the gallery stretched for 42m. Its ceiling was painted by Pierre Mignard with mythological scenes depicting the sun god, Apollo, and probably influenced Charles Le Brun when he painted the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles shortly after.

In 1870 the château was occupied by Prussian forces during the Franco-Prussian War. On 13 October French counter-fire set the  château ablaze and the entire complex, including the Galerie d’Apollon, was destroyed. The building’s empty shell remained standing until it was demolished in 1891. The surviving Galerie d’Apollon at The Louvre gives some idea of what the Saint-Cloud gallery looked like.

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