Boudoir at Fontainebleau Essay

Boudoir at Fontainebleau In 1777, Marie Antoinette commissioned neoclassical French architect, Richard Mique to design her boudoir at Fontainebleau; however, Barthelemy, Rousseau, and Roland decorated it in 1786 (citatation). Mique was a favorite designer of Marie Antoinette. He is most remembered for his picturesque hamlet, for Marie Antoinette in the Petit Trianon Gardens within the estate of the Palace of Versailles created between 1775 and 1784.

He designed many spaces for Marie Antoinette between 1775 and 1785, including her private theatre at Petit Trianon, modifications at the Chateau de Saint-Cloud, and her boudoir at the Petit Trianon. His majestic work, along with the help of other commissioned artisans can still be seen in Marie Antoinette’s Boudoir at Fontainebleau. Located in the heart of the seventeen thousand hectare forest, the palace of Fontainebleau was once one of the privileged residences of the sovereigns who ruled France. All of its occupants had their hearts set on improving it through new buildings or new decorations.

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This resulted in the present profusion of courtyards and buildings with different decorative and architectural styles. [Inclusion of floor plan with boudoir indicated on plan]. The boudoir at Fontainebleau was designed and decorated for Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XIV. Fontainebleau is known for some of the finest hunting in France. The court traveled to Fontainebleau in the fall so that the King could enjoy some of this fine hunting. Marie Antoinette was not very fond of hunting, or Fontainebleau for that matter.

It was a somewhat barbaric place that had an outstanding 172 vast apartments, but was secluded from the rest of the world, as it nestled in the immense forest and a whole day’s carriage away from Paris (citation). In an attempt to placate his occasionally petulant wife, Louis encouraged her to commission two exquisite rooms to either side of her state bedchamber – the salle de jeu and, hidden behind her enormous bed, the beautiful boudoir with its shimmering mother of pearl walls and sumptuous furniture, studded like fish scales with mother of pearl (citation). Don’t have last source yet, but quote that could possibly be included, and detailed room description] “Light spills from the mother of pearl to the framed mirrors which surround the room, and bathes the matt gold panels that complement the pearly sheen of the silver paintwork. These panels combine Pomeian motifs with the garlands of flowers that were famous for their ’simplicity’. Naturally, they included rose buds, but also, more unusually, daisies, cornflowers and ears of corn entwined with ribbons and garlands.

Like the feet of the Jacob chairs and the mother of pearl furniture, the gold panelling repeats the theme of iridescence festooned with ribbons. A dawn sky painted by Barthelemy floats above the high reliefs portraying the muses, carved in plaster by Roland. The magical effect of these materials and their consummate craftmanship must be completed in our imagination by the vision of voluminous, rustling taffeta, satin or gros de Tours dresses of white, blue or lilac.

The reflections of two or three such apparitions in the glimmering light of the candelabra were enough to give an atmosphere of secret festivity to this little room, from which the sound of whispers and carefree laughter would spill out into the adjoining corridors. ” – Marie France Boyer, The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette. [Possible] Works Cited Boyer, Marie-France. The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette. London: Thames & Hudson, 2006. Print.


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