André Le Nôtre in perspectives
Exhibition in the Africa rooms
Discover the forthcoming exhibitions of the palace of Versailles
Equestrian Show Academy
A centre for equestrian shows and training, directed by Bartabas
Centre de musique baroque
Missions and program for the musical season 2012 - 2013
Shows at Versailles
Operas, concerts and ballets: discover the programme
Catalogue of the publications of the palace of Versailles
Palace History Gallery
Opening of the Palace History Gallery of Versailles
A year to celebrate Le Nôtre
In 2013, the Palace of Versailles is paying tribute to André Le Nôtre, the creator of the gardens.
Versailles the other visit
A web-documentary about the unknown objects of Versailles.
The Water Theatre grove
A contemporary garden for the Water Theatre grove
Versailles in comic strip form
A co-edition palace of Versailles/Glénat
The Gabriel Chandelier
Installation of the Gabriel Chandelier, first permanent contemporary artwork
The acquisitions of the Palace
The last acquisitions of the palace of Versailles
Archaeology in Versailles
20 years of archaeological excavations in Versailles
Symposiums and workshops
The scientific activities of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles
Restoration and refurnishing
Restoration and refurnishing works at the palace of Versailles
Restoration of the Belvedere
Restoration of the Belvedere and the Rock in the Estate of Marie-Antoinette.
Official opening of the restored and refurnished Mercury Salon
Restoration of the Latona Fountain
The apartments of Mesdames
Re-opening of the the newly restored and refurnished apartments of Mesdames
Find out about the restorations and refurnishing works under way at the palace of Versailles.
Being the antechamber of Louis XIV's Medals Room (now Louis XVI's Games Salon), which used to be accessed by the rear door, the Abundance Salon linked the King's Grand Apartment to the Hercules Salon. On "apartment" evenings, the salon was where the refreshments were served. The small ceiling of the salon is the only one in the Grand Apartment to have been entirely painted onto plaster without the insertion of painted canvas; it is the work of René-Antoine Houasse, pupil and close assistant of Charles Lebrun. Before the restoration, the quality of the painting was marred by areas of clumsy overpainting, wear and blanched varnish. Deformations and cracks in the central part also altered the structure of the ceiling.
Performed by a team of sixteen restorers, with the assistance of the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, the pictorial restoration of the ceiling was completed at the end of April 2013; it was followed by the restoration of the stucco work. The operation is due to be completed in 2014 with the return of the crown bronzes and busts, medal cabinets, Boulle commodes and portraits painted by Rigaud (which used to occupy the room), and the installation of new curtains, pedestal tables and girandoles.
Re-opening: January 2014
After ten years of work, the restoration of the 125 paintings in the Crusades Room has been completed, reviving the clarity and legibility of the artworks and also revealing the unity, quality and originality of this ensemble, one of the oldest and most complete neo-Gothic décors to have survived to this day.
In addition to this lengthy operation, maintenance work was carried out on all bronze light fixtures (chandeliers and wall lights), along with the restoration of the Door of the Hospital of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem on the island of Rhodes given to King Louis-Philippe I by Sultan Mahmud at the request of the Prince of Joinville. The restoration of the door, which took place on site, consisted of several operations:
- restoration of missing parts in the wood carving;
- filling of large open splits in the upper and lower parts
- cleaning of the entire surface
- harmonising of the colours of the different pieces of wood
After having hosted the exhibition Treasure of the Holy Sepulchre (16 April-14 July 2013), these rooms were re-opened for lecture tours.
The restoration of the Latona fountain, which had been acknowledged as a necessity for years, finally started in the spring 2013, thanks to the patronage of the Philanthropia foundation.
This patronage also made it possible to restore the Latona parterre to its original design of cut lawn patterns. This restoration was completed in the summer of 2013.
Keep track of the progress of the restoration work: latone.chateauversailles.fr/en
The Latona parterre leads to the start of the Green Carpet, which used to be adorned with two sculpted groups by Pierre Puget: Perseus and Andromeda and Milo of Croton. These masterpieces of Baroque art, commissioned for Versailles, had been placed there at the request of Louis XIV then moved to safety in the Louvre museum in the 19th century.
Casts were taken of the two sculpted groups for their installation in the original setting (June 2013).
Pictures of the installation (2013)
The apartments of Louis XV's daughters, located on the ground floor in the central part of the Palace, are symmetrical to those of the Dauphin and Dauphine, on either side of the Lower Gallery. They were re-opened in the spring 2013 and included in the grand tour of the Palace.
Discover the restoration of Mesdames' apartments (2013)
Brocade fabrics delivered for the bedroom of Louis XVI were used to cover the stools while the work on the bed and balustrade has been postponed to upcoming years.
The decor of Louis XVI's loft library was refreshed. After this operation, the table made by cabinetmaker Limonne and deposited on loan by Institut de France in 2012 was put back in its original place. The room's furnishings include other objects which were acquired very recently: a telescope by Passement evokes the collection of scientific objects kept by the King in his apartments; a gilded bronze mantelpiece-clock whose movement, shape and dimensions are in keeping with the inventory of 1787 evokes the taste of the King, who preferred pleasant models for his private apartments.
Louis XVI's Games Salon has now almost retrieved all of its Ancien Régime furnishings. The four corner cabinets delivered by Riesener in 1775 gradually came back in 1953 and 1956; twenty-five of the thirty-six chairs delivered by Boulard in 1785 and sold during the Revolution were brought back together through a succession of purchases and donations; they were progressively covered with crimson and gold brocade fabric with bouquets of flowers and strings of pearls.
In order to preserve the stylistic unity of the furniture delivered by Boulard for the room, a copy of the original screen kept at the Nissim Camondo museum was made in 2012. The lyre-shape clock made of Sèvres porcelain was deposited on loan by the Louvre. Concerning the light fixtures, since the inventories list four wall fixtures attributed to Rémond and purchased from Daguerre in 1786, a pair of fixtures corresponding to that model was acquired in 1983 and another in 2011. Four marble and gilded bronze girandoles, deposited on loan by Mobilier National, bring to mind those which used to adorn the corner cabinets. Lastly, the Palace received a solid-mahogany round table known as a "brelan" table, which is a perfect equivalent to the one described in the salon in 1788.
The decor of the Queen's interior chamber, or "Gilded Study" was fully restored in 2006. Then, in 2011, the study was refurnished with all the original seats produced by Jacob and the desk designed by Riesener for Marie-Antoinette.
The final touch was added in 2012 through the Mobilier National's loan of a Savonnerie rug woven in the late 18th century for a Turkish boudoir in a royal house.
Discover the restoration of Marie-Antoinette's Bathroom (2011).
Following the Versailles and Antiquity exhibition, the antique statue of the Egyptian Goddess Isis dating back to the 2nd century AD was acquired on loan from the Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities of the Louvre Museum.
Present at Versailles under the Ancien Régime, the statue, whose origin and location were retraced through Thomassin's engraving, was recently put back in its original place in the rotunda of the Orangerie. The inventory of 1722 describes, under number 273, in the Orangerie, "a standing figure made of black marble representing a fully draped Egyptian queen".