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Mesdames’ Apartments



Mesdames’ Apartments

The Mesdames’ apartments are symmetrical to the apartments of the Dauphin and Dauphine. Like them, they were turned into museum rooms by Louis-Philippe and recently restored to their state of princely apartments. Mesdames, as the six daughters of Louis XV were referred to, settled there in 1752, but only two of them, Adelaide and Victoire – who did not marry and lived a long life – lived there until the revolution.

The apartments of Mesdames have been restored and refurnished and officialy opened on 25 April 2013.

Madame Victoire’s First Antechamber

It was the former bath chamber of Louis XIV: the walls and floor were then covered with a mosaic of polychromatic marble, and there was a large octagonal swimming pool made of Rance marble, which can now be found at the Orangery. It was the interior chamber of the Count of Toulouse from 1692 to 1724, the Countess of Toulouse from 1724 to 1750 and lastly Madame Adelaide from 1752 to 1753. The bedroom of Madame Sophie from 1755 to 1767, it then became the princess’ first antechamber, then in 1769 that of Madame Victoire.
Above the doors there are portraits of two of Louis XV’s ministers: the Duke of Choiseul-Stainville by Louis-Michel Van Loo, and the Duke of Choiseul-Praslin, by Alexandre Roslin. The Martin’s varnish chest of drawers was delivered in 1756 for Madame Adelaide.

Madame Victoire’s Second Antechamber

It was the former bath chamber, whose floor and walls were covered with marble; at the far end, in an alcove framed by marble columns, there was a couch. Window shutters date back to that period, with their beautiful decors of dolphins and congelations.
It then became the room of the Count of Toulouse, the Countess of Toulouse, Madame Adelaide and lastly Madame Victoire when she shared the apartment with her sisters Sophie and Louise. In 1767, the alcove was removed and the room became the second antechamber.
The woodworks were probably made for Madame Victoire. The overdoor paintings, representing La Fontaine’s Fables, were painted by Oudry for the Dauphin. The Riesener chest of drawers comes from the Nobles room of the Countess of Artois in the South Wing. A folding screen from the Savonnerie according to Blain de Fontenay and a “Chinese-style” Martin’s varnish wall clock complete the furnishings.

Madame Victoire’s Large Chamber

Originally, it was the octagon chamber of Louis XIV’s Bath apartment, one of the Sun King’s most original creations, whose wealth of marble, sculptures and paintings, exceeded that of the State Apartment. In 1763, the Mesdames succeeded in having its old-fashioned decor replaced; of that transformation only the cornice, woodwork in the corners of the room and the beautiful chimney remain. A harpsichord by Blanchet recalls that Madame Victoire admirably played that instrument and that Mozart dedicated his first six sonatas for harpsichord to her.

Madame Victoire’s Bedchamber

It was the ionic antechamber of the Bath apartment, so named because of the twelve marble columns that decorated it. It was the second antechamber of the Count of Toulouse, then the Countess of Toulouse, followed by Madame Adelaide and lastly the youngest Mesdames, in 1767 it became the bedroom of Madame Sophie and in 1769 that of Madame Victoire.
The beautiful woodworks are the work of Antoine Rousseau and the alcove coverings in mottled taffeta reproduce Madame Victoire’s “summer furniture”. In 1769, Péridiez delivered the two corner cupboards, which were sold during the Revolution, and passed into Russia then England, where they were bought back in 1982.

Madame Victoire’s Interior Chamber

This elegant small room and the two rooms next to it were originally only one single room: it was the Doric hall of the Bath apartment, separated in three sections by two rows of Rance marble columns, which still exist behind the woodwork. This hall was partitioned in 1724 to form two antechambers for the count and the countess of Toulouse; the antechamber of this princess was in turn divided in 1767 to form this small living room and the library next to it.
Antoine Rousseau is the creator of the admirable woodworks of which certain elements were restored, as well as the Serancolin marble chimney.
The chest of drawers was delivered in 1768 by Foullet for the apartment of Madame Victoire; it supports an alabaster dish that belonged to the princess. The writing desk was created by Levasseur for Mesdames at Bellevue palace.

Library of Madame Victoire

This room was initially a part of the apartment next to it, then it was attached to this one, it has a mezzanine, and, in the mezzanine, there is an extra library.
The cupboards house a few bound books bearing Mesdames’ coat of arms, a box containing a collection of geographical maps having belonged to Madame Elisabeth, niece of Mesdames, pieces of a Chinese decor Sevres china coffee set, created in 1775 for Madame Adelaide, and a vermeil table bell bearing the monogram and coat of arms of Madame Victoire.
The small slanted desk was created for Madame Sophie or Madame Louise in 1760, on their return from Fontevrault Abbey. The chairs belonged to Madame Victoire’s furniture at Bellevue castle

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