Wednesday, February 27, 2019

La Petite Chambre de la Reine

Miniature of Marie-Antoinette en gaulle

The Swelle Life continues the tour of Marie-Antoinette's "country house" Petit Trianon with photos of the Queen's bedroom and the cabinet with the mechanical mirrors, put in by Madame du Barry. According to Pierre de Nolhac in his biography of Marie-Antoinette:
The rooms that come after, boudoir, bed-chamber and dressing-room, are less important, the ceiling becomes abruptly lower; we feel that we have reached the homely corner of the house. In the time of Louis XV. the bed-chamber was the King's cabinet, and the little boudoir which precedes it included the staircase leading to the entresol, where the library was situated. Marie Antoinette...abolished this communication, and the room that replaced it was called the 'Cabinet of moving mirrors.' It contained a mechanical contrivance by which mirrors were slid up from the floor, and concealed the windows. The apparatus was destroyed and the fragments were sold during the Revolution; but the white marble mantel-piece has been preserved, and also the panels which were carved for the Queen. These, with the panels of the Versailles cabinets, are the most perfect remaining from her reign. The price of them is known; they cost fifteen hundred livres. The narrowest are encircled by rose blooms on their branches; on the others, the shield, bearing fleurs-de-lys, supported by ribbons, appears among lightly - smoking cressets, doves, wreaths and quivers: above these pretty emblems is a lyre, and here and there the Queen's gilded cipher shines in the midst of the roses, between two torches, symbolical of the flame of love. Flowers, as we see, play a large part, suggested by its gardens, in the decoration of Little Trianon. One flower above all has supreme charm for the artist, and on leaving this boudoir, which might be called the rose cabinet, we shall find it, mingled with jasmine and narcissus, in the adjoining room.
On entering the Queen's bed-chamber, a closed sanctuary, securely her own, we must beware of believing, as we would dearly like to believe, that everything in it has been respectfully preserved in its former condition.... The bed is of the Louis Seize style; that is all we can say for it; but the flowers on the quilt were undoubtedly embroidered for one of the Queen's beds, for her cipher and the King's form part of the design. That the hangings in her time were muslin, embroidered in coloured silks, we know from one of the Queen's pages.... Marie Antoinette was fond of nick-nacks, the trifles of art. In the salon there are two vases of petrified wood, mounted in bronze, the design being hop-leaves, with the inscription: 'Jos. Worth fecit Viennae, 1780.' This work by a Viennese artist probably figured in the bed-chamber, where the Queen had collected all the memorials of her country, out of the reach of malevolent curiosity. The time-piece recalls the arms of Austria: two eagles support the dial, surrounded by roses and foliage; beneath the heraldic birds, the emblems of Florian's shepherds are grouped on the pedestal; at the sides are carnations in vases; never has bronze been carved with greater grace, or finer feeling for nature; all the art of Trianon seems to be summed up in this work.
  More photos HERE.



Anonymous said...


Rozen van papier said...

Très beau, very beautiful!

Regards Janny

lara77 said...

Such incredible beauty and detail! I can see why the Queen loved this escape from the Royal Palace. There was privacy and intimacy that Versailles lacked, especially with the throngs of courtiers. I must give credit to the French for such admirable restoration. Thank you for the photos!