1923

Tennis in the gardens

Voir Tennis in the gardens
1946

Anne-Marie Michel and Claire Michel

Voir Anne-Marie Michel and Claire Michel
1947

Friends from Normandy visiting Versailles

Voir Friends from Normandy visiting Versailles
1950

Childhood at Versailles on the South Parterre

Voir Childhood at Versailles on the South Parterre
1950

Patrick's first communion

Voir Patrick's first communion
1960

Family visit in the 1960's

Voir Family visit in the 1960's
15.02.1964

Thierry Le Guillou on the carrousel in the park

Voir Thierry Le Guillou on the carrousel in the park
1979

Camille

Voir Camille
April 1987

Marie-Anne and Jérémie Le Guillou in the park

Voir Marie-Anne and Jérémie Le Guillou in the park
June 1991

Laure Le Guillou and her grand-mother in front of the Orangerie

Voir Laure Le Guillou and her grand-mother in front of the Orangerie
2005

Clothilde

Voir Clothilde
2011

Ballet de Cour (Court Ballet)

Voir Ballet de Cour (Court Ballet)
Themes Fermer

A short history of family photography

Throughout the 19th...

The start of a collection

The connection between photography and the Palace of Versailles has...

Childhood at Versailles

For the residents of Versailles, childhood at the Palace of...

Visiting the Palace of Versailles in the 20th century

The first decades after the museum opened in 1837 did not meet with...

The history of the Palace of Versailles in the 20th century

The Palace of Versailles was opened to visitors in 1837 by decision of Louis-Philippe, who set up a museum dedicated...

Select a theme of your choice and navigate through the timeline

Childhood at Versailles

For the residents of Versailles, childhood at the Palace of Versailles mainly evokes the park, which was used as a public garden. It was where everyone went for a Sunday outing and for all the leisure activities that come with free time: taking walks, riding a bike or a ride in the car, little boats on the ornamental pools, tennis, races between the trees and the statues, a nap on the Grand Canal or a ride on the merry-go-round, which no longer exists.

For the residents of Versailles, childhood at the Palace of Versailles mainly evokes the park, which was used as a public garden. It was where everyone went for a Sunday outing and for all the leisure activities that come with free time: taking walks, riding a bike or a ride in the car, little boats on the ornamental pools, tennis, races between the trees and the statues, a nap on the Grand Canal or a ride on the merry-go-round, which no longer exists. This is not as common anymore; children are mainly photographed in the context of heritage visits. Outdoor areas are still preferred though, as it is easier to take pictures of the family without all the other people around.

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No matter whether these visits were met with joy or boredom by the children, they were special occasions for the parents to take pictures. Indeed, starting in the 1930's, paid holidays and the democratisation of light, easy-to-use cameras led to an unprecedented development of private family photography. The family created its own memories and more attention began to be paid to children.

After World War II, more natural pictures were sought, rather than posing in a studio, but children were still asked to look into the camera. For the major ceremonies of family and social life, however, posing for ritualised photographs was still the norm. In the 1960s, for example, people still came to the Palace gardens to take pictures of children dressed up for their first communion.

Starting in the 1970s and 1980s, new subjects began to appear in family photographs, both more intimate and more focused on children, due to new family lifestyles. There was a growing desire to capture children in the heat of the action, in all their individuality, going so far as to achieve a maximum abstraction of the surrounding decor.

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