The king walked in any weather - Alexander Nikolaevich Benois. 47 x 66 cm
Two main historical themes in the artistic work of Alexander Nikolaevich Benois are traced through his whole life. They are dedicated to France (Versailles from the time of King Louis XIV) and Russia (St. Petersburg, Moscow).
Throughout his life, Benoit wrote more than 600 (!) Pictures about Versailles. This is gouache, and watercolor, and engravings, and many sketches and sketches. He is fascinated, inspired, “obsessed” with his parks, statues, “visions” of the figure of King Louis XIV (according to the artist himself).
The image of the sun king, in “The Last Walks of Louis XIV. The king walked in any weather ”, written in 1898, of course, was inspired by Alexander Benois historical texts, letters and engravings of the time.
According to Benoit himself, he seems to have “not fantasies, but memories” on the subject of the king of France. He sees these silent shadow people walking along paths past fountains. He sees a king who loves to walk surrounded by his courtiers. The king is already in old age, but his walks are not canceled even in rainy, inclement weather.
The king likes these boardwalks, the surrounding landscape surely evokes images and events, memories of his former greatness, of the monarchy, of his young years ...
It is interesting how the author depicts the king - from the back, and the viewer does not see the face of the emperor. Maybe Benoit thus showed the departing, fleeing king, as a passing era with him, which is rapidly disappearing? Or as an actor who needs to leave the stage and give a place to a new one?
After all, the artist, with all his fascination with Versailles and the personality of Louis XIV, perfectly understands that that time has sunk into oblivion and has gone to infinity.
The works of Alexander Nikolaevich Benois on the divine Versailles are original, inspirational, poetic and romantic, but at the same time sad and sad.