DECORATING by marie antoinette
While visiting Versailles this summer, I read that Marie Antoinette was forever ordering new decors and new pieces of furniture, even though Louis XVI was quite happy with what had been done by his grandfather Louis XV. The bust is of Marie Antoinette in the Queen’s Suite.
In the Queen’s Suite, this is the Queen’s bedchamber. Three Queens occupied the suites, each leaving their own mark on the decor.
The partitioning of the ceiling dates to Queen Maria Theresa (1638-1683).
The paintings in the grissaile and panelling were done for Queen Leszczinska(1703-1768), who occupied the suite for 43 years. All of these features have been preserved since the time of Marie Antoinette (1755-1793), for whom the furniture and fireplace were new. Marie Antoinette lived at Versailles from 1770, until the French Revolution, 1789. When the Revolution took place, the chateau was not plundered, but the furniture was sold off at auctions for an entire year. Many of the pieces have been recovered and are back at Versailles. All of the fabrics, including the bedding and the summer window coverings, are exact replicas of what was in the room the last night that Marie Antoinette was in Versailles, the copies re-woven in Lyons from original documents. The bed and balustrade were recarved based on old documents. All restoration of the Queen’s Apartment was in the 1980’s.
The Petit Trianon was built in the 1760’s as a private palace for Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour. In 1774, Louis VXI gave it to Marie Antoinette and it became her favorite place to stay. A 15 minute golf cart ride to reach this Petite Palais from Versailles. (turn right at the Grand Canal…it is off the guide map).
The Grand staircase. In 1867, the Petite Trianon hosted an Exhibition on Marie Antoinette. It was restored and opened to the public in 2008.
The Salon de compagnie – games room and music room. There is artwork showing Marie Antoinette playing the harp.
The Salon de compagnie – games room and music room, close up view for detail.
Louis XV Billard Room – a bust of Marie-Antoinette on the mantle. The billard table is a reproduction made in 2005.
Marie-Antoinette turned part of the garden into an English style park with follies and a hamlet.
In 2006, Sofia Coppola wrote and directed a movie about Marie Antoinette’s life – her marriage at 15, becoming Queen at 19 and the fall of Versailles. Over 200 years after her death, she becomes a part of popular culture, as shown on the cover of Vogue magazine. Fashion and home decor inspired by Marie Antoinette – 2 centuries later!
In the Versailles garden – Marie Antoinette played by Kirsten Dunst.
Marie Antoinette in full court dress.
all photos Sue Womersley.
I am an Interior Decorator in White Rock and love all things design!