Hyacinthe Rigaud or the Sun Portrait, the exhibition at the Palace of Versailles opening late at night

Published by Cécile D. · Published on 9 June 2021 at 14h18
He painted one of the most famous portraits of King Louis XIV: Hyacinthe Rigaud is given pride of place at the Palace of Versailles with the “Hyacinthe Rigaud or the Sun Portrait” exhibition. A wonderful retrospective to enjoy from May 19 to June 13, 2021. Before the exhibition comes to a close, enjoy two exceptional late-night opening on June 12 and 13.

He has painted the most famous portrait of Louis XIV, and it was very natural you can admire this first retrospective dedicated to Hyacinthe Rigaud at the Palace of Versailles. This exhibition – called Hyacinthe Rigaud or the Sun Portrait – is to be discovered from May 19 to June 13, 2021.

The Palace of Versailles closes this exhibition beautifully with two late-night opening tours: on Saturday June 12 and Sunday June 13until 10 p.m. in the palace to discover Hyacinthe Rigaud and his works of art before the night falls. This is the occasion to enjoy the Night Fountains Show of the Palace of Versailles coming back for a new season starting this June 12.

Discover the artist’s extraordinary career though 150 works gathered on the occasion. Son of a tailor who became the kings’ painter, this brilliant artist has produced over a thousand masterpieces over the course of his career. Rigaud dominated for over half a century the portrait genre to which he contributed to give a new light.

The exhibition tells about the life of the painter of nobles thanks to a tour both chronological and thematical. A whole section is even dedicated to the different portraits of Louis XIV. But the most interesting being the part revealing the creative process of Hyacinthe Rigaud, a process like no other.

This exhibition is also the occasion for the Palace of Versailles to highlight the exceptional collection of portraits the palace enjoys, painted by the oh-so famous master who was highly coveted back then. Monsieur the King’s brother, Philippe V, Louis XV, Jean de la Fontaine, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the Duchesse of Nemours… They have all been painted by the artist, so have thousands of other major people at this time.

It is Italian architect Pier Luigi Pizzi – internationally famous for his spectacular stagings – who have been chosen to create the staging of the exhibition. We can expect an impressive tour created to enhance Rigaud’s paintings.

Pizzi is a fine connoisseur and lover of Rigaud’s work. He chose to transcribe the extent and the magnificence of the artist’ work thanks to simple solutions enabling to show the splendor of materials, the abundance and subtlety of each detail dear to the King’s painter’s heart.

The staging of the works itself promises to be beautiful: the Palace of Versailles promises a classic architecture background which monumentality echoes the artist’ work including columns, entablature, and arches. Furthermore, the walls are covered in a fabric designed by Pizzi with house Rubelli from Venice. Inspired by colors from the artist’s palette, this fabric – which golden thread is inserted in the weft – reminds us of the pomp of the court and Versailles.

We are only looking forward to one thing: the Palace to reopen to let us enjoy the Hyacinthe Rigaud or the Sun Portrait exhibition! Will you be there?

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From 19 May 2021 to 13 June 2021



    Place d'Armes
    78000 Versailles

    - de 26 ans: Free
    tarif réduit: €13

    Official website

    More informations
    L'exposition est ouverte tous les jours de 9h à 17h30, sauf le lundi. Nocturnes jusqu'à 22h les 12 et 13 juin.

    Book your tickets
    Click here

    Refine your search
    Refine your search
    Refine your search
    Refine your search