Home > 2011 Posts, About Dave > To the Taste of Kings

To the Taste of Kings

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

In his first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, author Tom Wolfe compared Las Vegas in the 1960’s to another place. He declared that Las Vegas was the only architecturally unified town in the Western World other than Versailles. But, whereas Versailles was built to the taste of Kings, Las Vegas was built to the taste of peasants.

Of course, Wolfe was a New York elitist of the first water to whom everything west of the Hudson River was a barbaric wasteland filled with mindless wife-beaters whose drooling mouths hung open in confusion at the sound of a three-syllable word. Thank Heaven there are no coastal elitists like that anymore… .

(Click here to purchase a print)

But, having seen both Las Vegas in the 70’s and Versailles, I must agree with Wolfe on this: Versailles was truly built to the taste of kings, and not just your jumped up Duke-ish kind of king, but Absolute Monarchs whose every addled, inbred whim was state policy.

Versailles is impressive, but it was also built as a tool to reinforce that absolute power. For myself, I prefer Caserta, built later by the Bourbon Kings of Naples, as a far better artistic expression of ‘the taste of kings’.

This photo is my favorite from our visit to Versailles. It was taken looking up toward the palace during a brief break in the snowfall on a February day.

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  1. November 22, 2011 at 8:14 am
  2. December 14, 2011 at 7:34 am

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