Jules Hardouin-Mansart & Charles Lebrun.  Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles.  1676-1684.

        Versaillesí original architect was Louis Le Vau.  Later modifications, principally the long projecting wings, were made by his successor, Jules Hardouin-Mansart.  Mansartís greatest stroke of genius is visible inside the palace, in the famed Hall of Mirrors.  Here, overlooking a garden, Mansart built a row of floor-length windows and on the facing wall placed matching panes of mirrored glass.  This spectacular hall was actually designed as a setting for Lebrunís ceiling paintings; the arched mirrors and large windows create a sense of spaciousness that belies the hallís modest width.  With its grand length, rich parquet flooring, brilliant light, and gilded decoration the Hall of Mirrors embodies the lavish Baroque splendor of the Sun Kingís court.