Robert Polidori: Parcours Muséologique Revisité

Robert PolidoriParcours Muséologique Revisité
by Robert Polidori
Published by Steidl, 2009
Hardcover, 744 pages

In Parcours Muséologique Revisité Robert Polidori delivers a sublime photographic tract on architectural revisionism by charting the decades-long conservation project at Versailles. One of the world’s largest palaces, and a symbol of absolute monarchy in France, Versailles is a supremely apropos building through which to address matters of revisionism, having been subjected to four building campaigns (between 1664 and 1697) by Louis XIV alone, and several modifications since.

So what does restoring a room really entail? Does restoration intend the precise recreation of what once was? And if so, how much “creativity” goes into determining a room’s original condition? The curatorial decisions steering this project inevitably betray political and aesthetic affiliations that have morphed over the course of the restoration, and Polidori has been in attendance to record them. Photographed over a period of 25 years, the ever-evolving phases of Versaille’s grandeur are here laid bare for the reader to decode and admire.