The Queen's Private Chambers contain all the necessary amenities for the Queen's intimacy, with a water closet and a toilette room. Their restoration will take place between autumn 2017 and autumn 2018.
Marie-Antoinette's Private Chambers
The Queen's Private Apartments constitute one of the most precious parts of the Palace of Versailles, from both a historical and decorative point of view. They were a privileged setting for private life, as far as courtly Etiquette in Versailles permitted for Queens of France, and are currently mainly in the condition desired by their last occupant, Queen Marie-Antoinette, for whom the decoration was largely updated according to the fashion at the time, with the exception of a few rooms which still contain signs of their previous occupants.
The rooms are located alongside the Hall of Mirrors, between the Queen's Bedchamber and the Bull's Eye Antechamber, and were assigned to the Queen's service as a result of their close proximity to the Bedchamber. In these spaces, the queen ceased to be a sovereign and became a woman.
the queen's private chambers
The Water Closet is simply decorated because the room is dedicated to "cleanliness", but the overall effect is one of elegance. A small alcove indicates the location of the toilet, and two mirrors originally decorated with sculpted and gilded frames add to the brightness of the room.
Marie-Antoinette's Toilette Room (in which the Queen got dressed) is one of the prettiest rooms in the Private Apartments because of its elements of sculpted decoration made for the Duchess of Burgundy. The room bears testimony to the freshness and elegance of the renewed decorative style at the end of the reign of Louis XIV, which can be described as early Versailles Rococo. The room was originally gilded in order to highlight the delicacy of its decoration. Once restored, it will rediscover its logic and position as one of the Queen's chambers.
The following room marks the boundary between the King's and the Queen's Private Apartments. This apparently modest space in fact contains one of the oldest elements of decoration in the Palace: a coffer ceiling dating from before 1683 and which is all that remains of Maria-Theresa's private apartments.
The work in these rooms will mainly concern the finishes (Blanc de Roi paint using 18th-century techniques, water gilding, bringing out the colour of the wooden floor) and lighting. In addition to this restoration work, these private rooms will be refurnished and their fabric decoration will be re-made in order to bring them back to life.
The restoration will allow the established decorative hierarchy in Marie-Antoinette's Private Apartments to be revealed and understood, with fine, delicate rooms for receiving select guests or for personal leisure, and understated, elegant rooms for private use and service.
The restoration of the Queen's Private Chambers benefits from the support of La Fondation La Marck.