I know I said that the Montmartre Cemetery was my favorite Paris experience...
But now I'm thinking it may have been my trip to Versailles.
We got there when the chateau opened at around 9am which is why you see Jack with a cup of coffee...
And our visit was timed perfectly.
The goldwork and gilding was afire with the early morning sun.
A perfect welcome designed by the Sun King himself, Louis XIV.
And while we waited in the security line, a new queen was crowned...
Luckily, the sun stayed with us into the Hall of Mirrors and the other state apartments which made for a dazzling display.
I took over 300 pictures at Versailles so I can't possibly share them all here. So I have chosen to focus this post on the bedchamber of Marie Antoinette and the embroidery that I found there.
Wow. I had no idea.
To orient you, I found this picture on the net to give you the perspective of the entire room. When I was there, this room was packed with people so a shot like this wasn't really possible.
Starting in the mid-17th century, the room was originally inhabited by Queen Marie-Thérese, wife to Louis XIV, followed successively by two dauphines Marie-Christine of Bavaria and Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy and the two queens, Marie Leszczinska and Marie Antoinette.
It was from this room that Marie Antoinette fled from rioters on July 6, 1789.
The room along with many other areas of the palace was re-furbished in the mid-20th century to as close to its original decor as possible by "a small army of master craftsmen from the dwindling band of highly skilled artisans de luxe who were one of the glories of the glories of France in Louis XIV's day...
A staff of nine seamstresses under Madame Brocard...worked nine years to re-create the embroideries in the queen's bedchamber." (Smithsonian magazine, March 1977)
The non-embroidered fabrics that covered the bed and walls were re-woven in Lyon from the original cartoons.
The bed and balustrade were re-sculpted from the old documents.
Wouldn't you love to wake up and look at this?
I would love to know more about these embroideries and the women that did them. I am just beginning my study of Versailles for a future project.
If any of you know of additional sources that might be helpful, I would love to hear about them even if they are in French.
You can imagine how I must have felt visiting this room with it's amazing decor and breathtaking silk embroidery. I was in heaven...and I don't even think I noticed the 50 million other people in the room
Thanks to Jim who held my coat and had the patience to wait for me while I took it all in.
And thanks to a sunny morning which gave me great light to take photos.
And to Louis XIV who knew to orient his and the Queen's apartments to the sun in order to show them off to best advantage.
After touring the rest of the chateau and grabbing a bite to eat, the weather had changed quite considerably when we went outside to tour the grounds.
My brother Mark rented a golf cart to zip me over to the Petit Trianon
But by then the sky was too gray for nice photography indoors.
I would love to go back again to visit the gardens and fountains when they are in full splendor.
I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did.