On the tercentenary of her death, Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV’s secret wife, will return to her apartments in the Palace of Versailles for an exhibition in her honour, from 16 April to 21 July 2019.
The first exhibition entirely devoted to the Marquise of Maintenon, on the tercentenary of her death on 15 April 1719, recounts the extraordinary life of Françoise d’Aubigné. She was born in a prison yet went on to become the Sun King's wife in 1683.
The different stages of her life are shown in around 60 works from the collections of Versailles and other museums, including paintings, drawings, engravings, books, sculptures, medals, and so on. The visit passes through the four adjoining rooms of the apartment she lived in from 1682-1715, on the first floor of the Palace's central section.
The scenography returns the walls to their original colours at the time. They are richly draped in alternating silk panels as described in the Furniture Store-House inventories from 1708: red damask, crimson damask, and red taffeta for the second antechamber; green and gold damask for the bedroom; and crimson and gold flower damask for the Chambers. This installation was made possible thanks to the restoration of these wall hangings by Tassinari et Chatel, the nation’s oldest silk manufacturer, founded in Lyon by Louis XIV.
Some artworks of the exhibition
the exhibition curators
Alexandre Maral, Head Curator for Heritage and Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles
Mathieu da Vinha, Scientific Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles
Scenography: Jérôme Dumoux
Discover the audio tour of the exhibition "Madame de Maintenon. In the corridors of power" on the Palace of Versailles' free app.
international symposium - madame de maintenon 1719-2019
21-23 March 2019
This international symposium has been an opportunity to take a fresh look at this multifaceted historical figure, reviewing the biographical aspects of the Marquise, as well as her correspondence and the literary and iconographic legend surrounding her.
This exhibition is made in media partnership with :