The book shows the different Parts of the Staircase and its surrounding. There is space for the Interpretation of them next to the illustrations.
The view from the entrance showed the foot of the Staircase, when one looked up, there were tiers of representation expanding above one’s head. By walking up the Stairs the visitors could see scenes of historical triumph and dominance of France. At the top, before they began to enter in Versailles court, they stood under the skylight: the oculus that was the centerpiece, the great blank in the middle of the ceiling. The light not only enlightens the paintings and reliefs but also was a clear Symbolical reference to the Sun King. The King himself is shown in the middle of the Staircase, overlooking the entering people.
In the same way, the Grand Escalier took human figures and transported them, into a system of representations. It, too, functioned not only as a structural, practical, or even aesthetic device, but also as an allegorical one. The Staircase created not so much a representational challenge as a representational opportunity
When visitors crossed the floor on their approach to the first steps, the pattern extended up onto the walls of the first level of the room, where a topography of slightly raised panels and moldings were echoing the château’s garden patterns. The marbles of the Grand Escalier were chosen to show off France’s natural resources. Quarried from its provinces, the marbles were meant to rival the finest Italian stones, showing that France wasn’t lacking anything from Italian Architecture and resources.
Claustrophobic and hyper-saturated in execution, the Grand Escalier at Versailles was conceptually a thought out product of relations to other parts of the château. Although it had an almost entirely closed perimeter, the imagery of that perimeter created the illusion of architectural space beyond. The perimeter also referenced the exterior landscape of Versailles and of France itself through visible connections. The water in the fountain, the stones of the walls and visual echoes, such as the parterre-like patterns. This incorporation of the outside world into the interior expanded the idea about the relation of the earthly to the otherworldly. When visitors to Versailles arrived from the courtyard, passed through the dark passage, and emerged inside the room of the Grand Escalier, they became figures in the narrative of the interior. They became one with a scene that played around them and in the middle of which was the King himself as the most important object in the room.
Keywords: Symbols, glorification, representation