Exhibition program at the palace of Versailles+More info
Exhibition program at the palace of Versailles+More info
Discover the extramural exhibitions of the Palace of Versailles+More info
De Gaulle in Trianon
Until 9 November 2016, discover the story of Trianon as a Palace of the Republic.+More info
Olafur Eliasson is the Palace of Versailles’ guest artist for the summer of 2016.+More info
Catalogue of the publications of the palace of Versailles+More info
In prelude to the visit to the Grands Apartements, the restored Louis XIV Rooms are now open.+More info
Reopening on 10 May 2016
The collection of coaches will be exhibited in an entirely redesigned space.+More info
A new visitors’reception area+More info
Closed for works
New visitor tour from 5th January 2016+More info
A photo exhibition dedicated to the Palace of Versailles organized in the airports of Paris+More info
Restoration and refurnishing works at the palace of Versailles+More info
The last acquisitions of the palace of Versailles+More info
20 years of archaeological excavations in Versailles+More info
The scientific activities of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles+More info
Discover the concerts recorded at the Palace of Versailles+More info
Missions and program for the musical season+More info
A centre for equestrian shows and training, directed by Bartabas+More info
Versailles Festival 2016
Concerts, operas, masked balls and shows : discover the programmation.+More info
This coachman’s whip from a large horse-drawn carriage à la française was used during Charles X’s coronation ceremony in Reims on 29 May 1825. Charles X’s carriage was drawn by eight horses; a royal privilege, the first two driven by the postillion riding on the left horse and the reins of the other six handled by the coachman, who held the whip in his right hand, at one-third of the stock, elbow to body.
This whip is made up of a stock in gilded, varnished wood, flexible and tapering from the top, adorned with six rings with alternating decorations. The lash, which is lacking here, was set on the strap that can be seen at the end of the stock. Made of fine strips of braided leather, it ended with a strand, small rope braid or knotted string, which hit the horse’s shoulders. The handle at the base of the stock is covered with crimson silk velvet, the top and bottom adorned with gold thread puffs. The base is in gold, engraved with a fleur de lis and the inscription “Charles X, Sacré le 29 Mai 1825” (Charles X, Crowned on 29 May 1825). The trim matching the royal carriage, the exceptional size of this whip, the preciousness of the object and the inscription on the gold base support the hypothesis that this whip was indeed used by the coachman of Charles X’s royal carriage, and could mean that, after the ceremony, it was given as an honorary gift to a dignitary who then had it engraved in commemoration of the event. Such an inscription on an everyday object demonstrates the importance and symbolic value of this whip at the ceremony.
This original piece rounds out the collections at the Palace of Versailles’ Coach Museum.
Produced by Gilles Joubert, this commode was delivered to the Château de Bellevue in 1770 for Madame Adelaide’s bedchamber. This delivery was part of the refurbishments undertaken in the apartments of Madame Adelaide and Madame Victoire, Louis XV’s daughters. They had relatively simple apartments at this residence, with wooden panelling painted white and furnishings of measured luxury. This commode is original, standing out from the Joubert’s somewhat stereotypical production from around 1770. Indeed, it appears to be the only one whose central panel is decorated with a marquetry landscape, while other pieces usually have mosaic decorations or panels with bouquets of flowers. The central motif represents an ancient triumphal arch in ruins. The side panels also comprise inlays. The top is made of Aleppo breccia marble.
This historical commode was installed in Madame Adelaide’s bedchamber in her apartment on the ground floor of the central section.
Dating from 1775, this lovely blue-ground vase-clock whose dial is signed by Roque à Paris was acquired by Louis XVI from the Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine de Sèvres (Sèvres Royal Porcelain Factory) in the year 1777. It was used to decorate the mantelpiece in his Bath Chamber, which had just been installed on the first floor. Transferred to the Tuileries Palace in January of 1792, it was probably sold during the Revolution. All trace of it was lost until 1927, when it turned up at an auction of the Anthony de Rothschild collections with a quadrangular base, probably added during the 19th century, as was often the case with Sèvres porcelains of the previous century.
The acquisition of this vase-clock, with its extremely rare shape and its royal provenance, is exceptionally important for the wealth of the collections at the Palace of Versailles. It is in keeping with a policy that has been followed for several decades, consisting in systematically buying pieces of Vincennes-Sèvres royal porcelain that had been at Versailles in the second half of the 18th century. These porcelains can be identified thanks to the Palace inventories drawn up at the beginning of the Revolution and the sales records at the Manufacture Royale. The clock’s acquisition adds to what we already knew of Louis XVI’s true appreciation of the productions of the Manufacture Royale founded at Vincennes in 1740, under his grandfather’s reign.
Between 1760 and 1762, Jean-Martial Fredou produced eleven portraits of the children of the Dauphin, the son of Louis XV and Marie-Josèphe de Saxe. The pastel portrait of the Duke of Burgundy, completed on 15 March 1760 and kept in the collections of the Palace of Versailles (INV.DESS 726), was the source for several other oil-painted versions produced by Fredou. One of them was given by the Dauphin to the Marquis de Sinety. In 1760, the latter had been appointed sub-governor for the Duke of Berry and, in 1762, sub-governor for the Count of Provence. The portrait of the Duke of Berry (future Louis XVI) was also drawn by Fredou as part of the 1760-1762 commission. The portrait, painted as a match to that of the Duke of Burgundy and also given to the Marquis of Sinety, is in all likelihood a variant of this still unknown drawing. The identical frames, which are probably the original ones, confirm that these two portraits were produced as a matching pair.
The Palace of Versailles had no oil-painted portrait of the Duke of Burgundy or Duke of Berry as children. This acquisition thus fills a major gap in its collection.
This small painting by Karl Girardet is the first sketch for a watercolour commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1855 and which is still in the British royal collections. It commemorates the visit of the Queen and Prince Albert, accompanied by the imperial couple, to Trianon on Tuesday 21 August 1855 during the British sovereign’s stay in Paris.
The two sovereigns can be clearly identified in an open carriage stopped in front of the house of Marie-Antoinette, while the Emperor and the Prince Consort are on horseback on either side of it. The escort is made up by Cent-Gardes and postilions of the Emperor’s Household in full dress uniform. Under the gallery linking the Queen’s House to the Billiards House is the band of the Guides of the Imperial Guard who played during the lunch taken by the two couples.
Old paintings of the Hamlet of Trianon are quite rare. The Palace of Versailles held two views of the Mill and the Queen’s House with the Marlborough Tower from the studio of Guérard and Wallaert, dating from the Restoration, and a view of The Interior of the Queen’s Theatre during the July Monarchy by Mme Asselineau, but none dating from the Second Empire, the period of the renaissance of Trianon, spearheaded by the Empress Eugénie. The new acquisition will fill this gap with a work that will take its rightful place in the attic of the Petit Trianon in the section dedicated to the Second Empire and the Empress.
In 1772, Madame Victoire, one of the daughters of Louis XV, acquired these three vases for her bedroom in the Palace of Versailles. Madame Victoire in fact ordered a matching set of five vases with a green background from the Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Sèvres. The other two vases of the set are now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
These three vases are exceptional for their painted scenes and their shape. The cartouches are the work of Charles-Nicolas Dodin, one of the finest painters of figures in the Manufactory in the 18th century, to whom the Palace of Versailles dedicated an exhibition in 2012. Their unique shape had not yet been represented in the national collections. The central “beaded” vase has a cartouche based on a painting executed in 1737 for Louis XV, The Charms of Country Life. The scenes painted on the other two “laurel leaf” vases are The Lovers Surprised, based on an engraving by Gilles Demarteau, and Spring, inspired by one of the canvases of the Seasons painted in 1755 for Madame de Pompadour.
These vases have now been returned to their original place on the mantelpiece of Madame Victoire’s bedroom.
These vases have been acquired thanks to a donation from LVMH. Each of these works has been officially recognised as a "work of major heritage value".
In 1751, Jean-Marc Nattier executed this oval portrait of the Dauphine, Marie-Josèphe de Saxe. Given to the Duchesse de Brancas, the lady-in-waiting of the Dauphine until 1762, it depicts exactly the same face painted by Nattier for the large portrait of the Dauphine in her court dress.
But the costume is quite different: the young heiress to the throne is wearing a “marmotte”, which is a scarf tied under her chin. This was the style of the Savoyardes, Parisian women from Savoie, and was a popular fashion in the years 1740-1750. After being seen as a sign of virtuous poverty, the style gradually took on a more saucy dimension. From the 1760s on, this style was ambivalent: a virtuous mountain woman or a saucy city woman, the Savoyarde could also be a woman who begs or who, especially if she was pretty, was suspected of selling other things than her songs.
The portrait of the Dauphine wearing a “marmotte” is iconographically unique, as no other portrait of the ladies of the royal family in this style has come down to us. So the Dauphine adopted this fashion and this portrait seems to have been painted when she was pregnant with her third son. The Savoyarde costume thus evokes virtuous fertility, although this type of style could be seen as shocking. Given to a lady-in-waiting, this small portrait moves away from official representations and shows the close links between the Dauphine and the ladies of her house.
Seemingly originating in the court of Saxony, this Saint John the Baptist Kissing the Hand of the Infant Jesus was probably brought to the Palace of Versailles by the Dauphine Maria Josepha of Saxony, the mother of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X, when she married the Dauphin in 1747.
This painting fits into what we know of the Dauphine’s taste for religious scenes, of which Versailles has kept two examples by Charles-Antoine Coypel (Saint Piama, MV 8610, and Saint Landrade, MV 8624). Painted by the Venetian Jacopo Amigoni, it is imbued with the tenderness and delicacy so typical of Bolognese painting of the preceding century.
On her death in 1767, the Dauphine bequeathed this painting to her first chaplain, Aymar de Nicolaï, who had supported her during the most painful moments of her existence, such as the death of her son Louis-Ferdinand in 1765. Now back in the Palace of Versailles, it evokes the décor of the apartments of the Dauphine.