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Rescue Attempts: Scientific Images And The Mysteries Of Power In The Era Of Louis XIV

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Chapter Summary

The château of Versailles became a place of great importance after 1668. At first only a hunting lodge, King Louis XIV decided to transform it into the primary residence of the monarch. This chapter focuses on one detail of Versailles ? the fountain called the Parterre d?Eau ? and reconstructs some structural aspects of its interpretation. It first discusses the spatial position of the sovereign in political theories in relation to the Parterre d?Eau and Versailles. Next, it focuses on the natural sciences and their empirical analyses. These analyses are connected to 17th-century conceptions of infinity in relation to the concept of limited space. These observations are important for describing the monarchy?s understanding of the four elements because by employing both words and images they attempt to emphasize the king?s unique position. Based on these considerations, the chapter finally focuses on images and on arguments that are dealing with images.

Keywords: King Louis XIV; natural sciences; Parterre d?Eau; political theories; scientific images; Versailles



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