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Restoration and refurnishing

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Restoration and refurnishing works

Find out about the restorations and refurnishing works under way at the palace of Versailles.

RESTORATION OF INTERIOR DECOR

Cabinet of the Meridian

Cabinet of the Meridian

The Cabinet of the Meridian is part of the Queen’s Small Apartments. It was created for Marie-Antoinette in 1781 after she gave birth to her first son. The name “Meridian” appears to indicate that it was especially used at midday.

Remarkable in its octagonal shape, this little boudoir is also unique in its refined decor produced from drawings by Richard Mique. The wooden panelling and bronzes on the door mirrors are rich with symbols, notably of Marie-Antoinette with the Habsburg eagle and of her newborn son with the “dauphins” (dolphins). The metalwork is also of exceptional quality.

The restoration work should last until the end of 2014. The entire Cabinet has been disassembled, notably to restore the bronzes, wooden panelling and parquet flooring.

Restoration sponsored by the Société des Amis de Versailles


Pictures taken before and during the restoration:

The Cabinet of the Meridian before restoration
Restoring the wooden panelling / Restoring bronzes and metalwork / Restoring the parquet flooring

Apollo Salon

Apollo Salon

The Apollo Salon is the seventh room in the Grand Apartments. In 1682, when Louis XIV definitively moved the Court to Versailles and transformed the Grand Apartments into the royal apartments, he decided to make the Apollo Salon his throne room.

The vault of the ceiling depicts Apollo, the sun god that Louis XIV identified with. It is thus emblematic of the iconographic programme deployed at Versailles. The central section, Apollo on His Chariot, was painted by Charles de La Fosse. In this salon, Apollo dominates the seasons, shown next to him, the hours presented as sculpted women, and the universe symbolised by the four continents in the spandrels.

The restoration work should last until the first quarter of 2015. It mainly concerns the pictorial surface, which is in poor condition. The aim is to make the decor easier to comprehend and to repair certain structural defects.

Former restorations

Discover texts and pictures of some recent restorations in the Grand Apartments:
Queen's Grand Couvert (2010)
Marie-Antoinette's Bathroom (2011)
Mercury Salon (2012)
Mesdames' apartments (2013)
Abundance Salon (2014)

RESTORATIONS OF EXTERIOR DECOR

The Latona fountain and parterre

The Latona fountain and parterre

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

Former restorations

Discover texts and pictures of some recent restorations of the exterior decor:
Deer Courtyard (2011)
Belvedere and its Rock (2012)

Discover also texts and pictures of some returning to Versailles artworks:
Pierre Puget sculptures (installed in 2013)

REFURNISHING OF THE ROYAL AND PRINCELY APARTMENTS

The King's Small Apartment

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

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 Queen's interior chamber or "Gilded Study"

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.

DEPOSITS

Return of the antique statue of Isis

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".

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