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The Grand Foyer was designed by Charles Garnier to echo the galleries of Classical period châteaux. Its huge size is further accentuated through the play with mirrors and windows. The magnificent ceiling painted by Paul Baudry illustrates musical themes. The lyre, the main decorative component, dominates the entire decorative vocabulary, on capitals, heating grids and door handles alike.
A copy of the bust of Charles Garnier by the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux stands in the centre of the foyer, near one of the windows providing a view down the Avenue de l’Opéra as far as the Louvre. The two galleries communicate, providing plenty of room for Gala dinners (up to 700 people). An extension of the Grand Foyer, the openwork Loggia provides a unique view over the Avenue de l’Opéra.
The Palais Garnier is a building of exceptional opulence. The style is monumental and considered Second-Empire Beaux-Arts style with axial symmetry in plan and eclectic exterior ornamentation with an abundance of Neo-Baroque decorative elements.