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The King's interior apartments



The King's interior apartments

The Petit Appartement du Roi, the "new rooms" and the neighbouring rooms overlook the Cour de Marbre on the right and the Cour Royale. Far from the tumult of the Grands Appartements, they are situated on the first floor of the central body of the Palace, and in the 18th century they became real living and working apartments decorated in a very sophisticated style. These rooms and their functions were continually renewed and adapted to the tastes of the occupier. They can be seen every day as par

The King's interior cabinet

This "corner room", as it was commonly called, benefits from a double exposure, overlooking the Cour de Marbre and the Cour Royale. Louis XV often came here, and it was from the balcony of this room that, with tears in his eyes, he watched the departure of the funeral procession taking away Mme de Pompadour, one winter evening in 1764. Although it was redecorated several times during his reign, the décor of the woodwork remains one of the most beautiful works by Jacques Verbeckt, who carved the panels in 1753. This room once again has its original furniture, and in particular the roll-top or cylinder desk commissioned from Œben in 1760 and finished by Riesener nine years later. This is the first piece of furniture of this type, which satisfied the King's wish to be able to leave his papers on his desk out of sight. Remarkable for the beauty of its inlaid tableaux and bronzes, it is also a mechanical marvel: just a quarter of a turn of the key is sufficient to open or lock both the cylinder lid and all the drawers.

Cabinet des Dépêches

This occupies the original salon Ovale which Louis XIV had installed in 1692: decorated with Corinthian pilasters and four niches housing bronze statues, including the famous Jupiter, or "chenêts" de l’Algarde, this salon gave on to the Petite Galerie on the right and the cabinet des Coquilles on the left. In this room, named after the shell decoration of its cornice, Louis XIV kept his most precious manuscripts and books and twenty or so paintings, including Titian's Concert Champêtre..
In 1754, the cabinet des Coquilles disappeared to make room for the Degré du Roi (King's staircase) and the salon Ovale was replaced by a rear-cabinet and a commode. The rear-cabinet originally contained cut-off corners, which Louis XVI took out, although he kept the carved woodwork and the paintings by Galloche and Chavanne.
It was here that Louis XV shut himself in to study the reports of the secret agents he maintained abroad and to write the instructions he sent to them: it was thus the seat of the "Secret du Roi" or King's secret, this private diplomacy which Louis XV conducted on the sidelines of his official foreign policy and which resulted, among other things, in the "reversal of alliances".
The small glass cabinet placed on the right of the window was made by Riesener to contain Louis XVI's watches.

The gold-plate room

This is the former interior cabinet of Madame Adelaide. It has kept some of the elements of the décor of the Petite Galerie: the cornice, the pilasters and the window frames, supplemented by new woodwork between 1753 and 1767. It was particularly admired for the panels in the recess, which probably date from the works of 1753 but which were reinstalled in 1767 in their current location: Verberckt carved trophies of musical instruments capturing the tastes of the princess, and fishing and gardening tools.
It was in this lovely cabinet that Madame Adelaide studied Italian with Goldoni and the harp with Beaumarchais, and it was almost certainly here that the young Mozart, in December 1763, played the harpsichord before the Royal family.
Later, Louis XV, who drank his coffee here, displayed his gold plate. Louis XVI placed the extraordinary ebony and mahogany cabinet, covered in porcelain plaques decorated with bird feathers and butterfly wings.
On the mantelpiece is a beautiful bust of Louis XV as a child by Coysevox. The two plaques of Sevres porcelain, representing the Toilette de la Sultana and the Sultana giving orders to the odalisques in the style of Amédée Van Loo, were commissioned by Louis XVI for his interior cabinets.

The bath chamber/privy purse room

The King's bath chambers are one of the last works commissioned by Louis XV. The style of the woodwork, which reproduces engravings describing aquatic pleasures in medallions lined with reeds and daffodils, with touches of mat gold, burnished gold (brilliant) and green gold, show a change in taste. It was no longer Verbeckt but his rival Antoine Rousseau, assisted by his sons, who carved them in 1771. The bath was removed when Louis XVI installed his "privy purse room" where he kept the ledgers of his private accounts.

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