pierre lepautre

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Hôtel National des Invalides

The only building Louis XIV constructed from the ground up was the Invalides, and the golden dome of its church still glitters with the kind of splendor that would have made the Sun King shine with pride. The complex of the Invalides, literally invalids, was built to house wounded soldiers who fought the king’s endless battles. Louis being Louis, he insisted that the church serve as something more than just a place of worship for his soldiers. It was to be an example of French glory, magnificence, and engineering.

Made during the design of the dome, this fold-out engraving is nearly 5 feet tall.

Louis XIV’s Golden Dome

Engraving: Facade of the Church of the Invalides, 1687, Pierre Lepautre after Jules Hardouin-Mansart. The Getty Research Institute

Photo: Adam Polselli on Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hands: Getty Research Institute curators Louis Marchesano and Christina Aube