La Salle des Festins, Versailles
published by Langlois in 1704
31 cm x 41.1 cm (12 3/16 in. x 16 3/16 in.)
(Paris, 1638 - 1695, Paris)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
A bosquet is essentially an outdoor room, open to the sky, with walls of carefully trimmed hedges or trees. They are frequently decorated with elaborate water features and sculptures. At Versailles they were one of the main features of the garden and were treated as flexible all-purpose spaces. Depending on the needs of the court they could be used as quiet retreats or to stage grand spectacles.
The Salle des Festins is a fine example of such a bosquet. Its hedge walls surrounded an artificial island ringed by a narrow water channel with ornamental jets. It could be accessed by two small bridges and was used for both quiet strolls and elaborate banquets and balls.