The park of the palace of Versailles spreads out from the foot of the chateau to as far as the eye can see. In designing it, Louis XIV shared the same aim as the Medicis in Florence and Henri IV at the Louvre-to manifest the ideal of rational government through the mastery of nature by intellect.The seasons and the time of day dramatically transform the park in a matter of days, hours, or even minutes. The photographs here capture the moments when light suddenly colors the pools and basins crimson; when the Swiss Pond is transformed into a storm-tossed lake by the wind; or when, in the morning haze, phantoms emerge evocatively from the Basin of Neptune. The author tells the story of vision that Louis XIV, great gardener Andre le Notre, artist Hardouin-Mansart, and architect Charles Le Brun had for the gardens. Even those that know the gardens well will have the impression that they are encountering their magic for the first time in this splendid publication.