Le Cabinet Doré (Gilded Study)
When she was at Versailles, it was to her interior chamber – the largest of the queen’s private rooms – that Marie-Antoinette generally withdrew to entertain her children and friends, to play music with her teacher Grétry , or to pose for Madame Vigée-Lebrun, her favourite painter. Created for Marie Leszczinska, this room was redecorated in 1783 according to the drawings of Richard Mique, Marie-Antoinette’s architect. The woodwork by the Rousseau brothers, adorned with sphinxes and antique tripods, recalls the recent discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The majority of the pieces of furniture and works of art found there today belonged to the queen: for example, the chest of drawers, one of Riesener’s most beautiful creations, was created for her bedroom in Marly, and the “Chinese-style” Sevres vases that sit on top it are from her apartment in Saint-Cloud.
This gilded study – so named due to the abundance of gold on the woodwork, bronzes and chairs – opens by means of a small door to the left of the chimney onto a small chamber whose Martin’s varnish colour paint dates back to the 1750s. It is the only original testimony of the craze that this China lacquer imitating process provoked at the time. Its woodwork comes from a back chamber of the apartment of Marie-Josèphe of Saxony located on the ground floor; it was Marie-Antoinette herself who had the décor, which was created for her mother-in-law, brought to the gilded study.