Friday, April 19, 2024

The Gift of the Château de Rambouillet

Neither the dairy at Rambouillet nor the one at Trianon were for "playing milkmaid." Both Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette embraced the practical view of generating food, income, and employment by having dairies, as well as giving an example to other nobles of investing in agriculture. From France Today:

Back to Louis XVI and his desperation to bring Marie-Antoinette to the castle he loved so much. Along with an experimental farm, which he populated with merino sheep imported from Spain, and a nursery garden, in which he had exotic species planted following botanic exploration trips abroad, he wooed Marie-Antoinette with a rather astonishing gift. 

He ordered the construction of an ornamental creamery, which was designed for the sole purpose of tasting and enjoying dairy products, a fashionable hobby at the end of the 18th century. The king commissioned the best artists of the time: painter Hubert Robert and sculptor Pierre Julien, who crafted the building to resemble a Greek temple. A small zoo was also built just outside the creamery. The project was completed by 1787 and the king planned a spectacular unveiling for the queen who, despite the monumental grotto, finely sculpted detailing, mahogany furniture and finest porcelain set…still preferred Versailles’ Trianon palace! (Read more.)


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