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The restoration of the Mercury Salon

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Official opening of the Mercury Salon

On 25 October 2012, after more than one year of restoration work, the palace of Versailles officially opens the Mercury Salon. This restoration of the paintings and carvings of the ceiling has been accompanied by a refurnishing programme to enable visitors to discover what the ceremonial bedchamber of the king used to look like.

The restoration © EPV / Ch. Milet

Part of the suite of adjoining rooms of the King’s Grand Apartment leading to the Hall of Mirrors, the Mercury Salon was the ceremonial bedchamber of Louis XIV. From 1682 on, with the definitive installation of the Sun King’s court in Versailles, it was a public place, intended not for the king’s sleep but for the reception of visitors.

See images of the restoration of the painted ceiling

The restoration

The paintings of the ceiling were restored to bring back the original brushwork of the painter. Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne, the nephew of Philippe de Champaigne, executed all the paintings on the ceiling, in the centre of which he depicted Mercury on his chariot drawn by two cocks. At the same time as the paintings, the stucco work produced by the sculptors Gaspard and Balthazar Marsy was also restored.

The Mercury salon being refurnished © EPV / Ch. Milet The Mercury salon being refurnished © EPV / Ch. Milet

This restoration was followed by the refurnishing of the room to highlight the ceremonial function assigned to the Mercury Salon. As the original furniture had been dispersed during the Revolution, the refurnishing was carried out thanks to the furniture inventories of the Palace. It combines recreations of original designs made by craftsmen and pieces taken from the collections of the Palace of Versailles.

The Mercury salon refurnished © EPV

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