The grande commande was a commission ordered by Louis XIV for statues intended to decorate the parterre d’eau of the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, as initially conceived in 1672. The commission, which included 24 statues and four groups, was ordered in 1674. Designed by Charles Le Brun from Cesare Ripa’sIconologia, the statues were executed by the foremost sculptors of the day (Blunt, 1980; Friedman, 1988, 1993; Nolhac, 1913; Thompson, 2006; Verlet, 1985).
Owing to concerns of the effects of the vertical lines of the statues in relations to the garden façade of the château, the statues of the grande commande were transferred to other locations in the gardens in 1684 (Berger, 1985; Blunt, 1980; Friedman, 1988, 1993; Marie, 1968; Nolhac, 1901, 1913; Thompson, 2006; Verlet, 1985; Weber, 1993).
Charles Le Brun, The Four Parts of the Day
Le Brun, The Four Seasons
Le Brun, The Four Elements
Le Brun, 'The Four Humors of Man
Le Brun, 'The Four Forms of Poetry
The 24 statues were personifications of the classic quaternities:
The Four Humors of Man
The Four Parts of the Day
The Four Parts of the World
The Four Forms of Poetry
The Four Seasons
The Four Elements
The four groupings represented the four classic Abductions: