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 exhibition

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.

Original décor

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.

Brochure of the exhibition


Discover the audio tour of the exhibition "Madame de Maintenon. In the corridors of power" on the Palace of Versailles' free app.


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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

Some artworks of the exhibition

vers 1694 — Pierre Mignard dit le Romain

Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon (1635-1719)
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vers 1689 — Louis Elle le Jeune

Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon (1635-1719), et sa nièce Françoise d'Aubigné, future duchesse de Noailles
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château de Maintenon
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1701-1800 — Nicolas-René Jollain

Louis XIV tenant le plan de la maison royale de Saint-Cyr
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1601-1700 — Pierre Aveline l'Ancien

Vue générale de l'entrée de la maison des dames de Saint-Cyr proche de Versailles
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Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart, marquise de Montespan
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This exhibition is made in media partnership with :

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. You can now listen the audio records of the symposium on its official page