Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Bed Chamber of Marie Antoinette

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.

*smile*

40 comments:

Linda H said...

Susan, your photos are beyond superb. You were so fortunate to have a sunny day so there was good light. Isn't the Hall of Mirrors incredible - I remember just being totally blown away walking through there... I too would love to return to Versailles for another look. I know I would appreciate the wonderful embroidery and other details so much more now, than I did the first time around in my
20's..Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos.

katherine said...

such an incredible post! i adore everything about it, right down to the tassels!

verobirdie said...

Beautiful post. I never went to Versailles. We wanted to go in may, but it was sold out, we could not get tickets. You motivate me to try harder!

wendy said...

Thank you for the beautiful picture tour!

Maggie said...

I was at Versailles just after Christmas, before New Year's. We had a cold, drizzly, dark day and wow! are your photos 100 times better than mine. The Hall of Mirrors disappointed me, maybe it was the weather, but my favorite part was Marie's beautiful bedroom. Was happy to see an original Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun painting there, one of my favorite portrait artists. Thanks for helping me relive my trip!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow! Your photos are gorgeous! Thank you so much for taking the time to post them -- the eye candy for an embroidery lover is incredible!!!

Wendy said...

Thank you so much Susan for sharing your trip to Marie's bedchamber! My goodness to wake up everyday in that bed would be something else! I don't know that I wouldn't lay there and ponder the beauty before my eyes forever and a day! All the intricate and beautiful embroidery is enough to make one swoon! Imagine what the original would be like! Again thank you for sharing this great adventure with us!

flower friend said...

Thanks for the tour Susan and I just love those tassels.Its hard to take in such splendour and beauty sometimes isn't it?

Kim

kaiteM said...

magnificent photos but i have to be honest and say that my fav was the newly crowned queen at the top.

Ati. said...

Thank you Susan for sharing the photos of this amazing embroidery works!

Anonymous said...

This is just stunning!!! I seem to be able to hear the wheels turning at the speed of light creating a new project focusing on this trip!! N'est-ce pas????

Maureen in MD

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Holy Cow! Take a look at that PASSEMENTARIE!

http://www.prettyimpressivestuff.com/tassels.htm

Catherine said...

Simply beautiful! I loved that there were lilacs, love them!

Lorraine@creativedaily said...

Versaille will most definitely be on my to see list next time I'm in Paris after seeing these photos - spectacular. Absolutely adore the tassels and waking up to that embroidery above you, wouldn't that be fantastic!?

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

That's a lot of beauty to take in, in one day. I can't imagine how long it would take to see every little detail in the amazing bed chamber.

I must admit, I can't help wondering how the other half lived.

Great pics.
So far, the Cemetery is my choice.

JoWynn Johns said...

Thank you so much, Susan, for taking us with you. It's a joy to share in your life.

Suztats said...

Sigh.......Thank you for sharing that. Oh, to be a queen, or a princess, and live in luxury.......

Createology said...

Oh My...Breathtaking! Your photos are brilliant and what memories you have here. I think I will see future posts where you are creating exquisite embroidery just like these pieces. Susan dear this just so beautiful...

Glenda said...

Just . . . wow.

The photos are gorgeous; I can't begin to imagine how breathtaking that must be to see in person.

Thank you so much for sharing your photos. I will have visions of beautiful embroidery & furnishings in my head as I fall asleep tonight :-).

P.S. -- I immediately thought "what a great Christmas ornament that would be" when I saw your "new queen" photo!

Mánya said...

Thank you so much, Susan, for sharing these wonderful photos with us! All the embroidery is just breathtaking...

coral-seas said...

I certain can imagine how you felt in the bed chamber, I felt exactly the same way when I was there. And my husband also waiting patiently while I drank it all in and waited patiently for others to move aside so I could take photographs.

Funny, I don't remember the peacock feathers and peacocks draw me like a magnet!

I too would love to visit Versailles again and if you do return I would love to be there with you. I thought of you every time I saw a tassel and thought, Susan would love to be here. I am so thrilles that you got see Versailles and took such splendid photographs to share with us.

Masha E said...

Amazing! Nine years project! Non UFO!
But the result is absolutely fantastic!

Teresa said...

I can only imagine how you will tranform the beauty you saw into an incredible piece. I can hardly wait to see.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

sudukc said...

Beautiful! Thank you for the tour.

Heather M. said...

Susan,

Thanks for the pictures. I've never been to France and am enjoying your tour immensely. I love the embroidery but the tassels really take my breath away. I love how the bottoms of them are decorated so that they can be enjoyed while lying in bed.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Thank you for sharing these photos. I had no idea it was so beautiful. Even the tassels are outstanding. What a glorious room. Jane in MO

Lisa said...

Oh my! For all the pictures I've seen of this room, not one of them captured the beauty of the embroidery that you did! Truly amazing!

Judy S. said...

More great photos, Susan. Sounds like you had a fabulous time. Must say our bedroom looks a tad shabby after seeing this one. Somewhere I think I read that Marie-Therese had 16 children...and I thought 3 were a lot. LOL I sure would have loved watching those women stitch!

Carol E. in AZ said...

Absolutely beautiful pictures! Thank you so much for sharing. I would love to go and see this for myself. Maybe one day?

Rachel said...

Wow! Great photos. What do you want to know about Versailles? Just embroidery, or about the people as well?

Hélène said...

Beautiful pictures. Believe it or not although I've been living in the Paris region for the last 40+ years, I 've been to Versailles only as a very small child and don't remember anything...

If you need help (for translations ?) I would be happy to help. My family originates near Fontainebleau, another castle that was superbly restored.

Cathy K said...

Another stunning post! Thank you, dear Susan. The beautiful embroidery makes me weak in the knees! BTW, I LOVE your hair!! hugs, Cat

Faith said...

BEAUTIFUL!! I am so envious! You saw it in person! I was surprised that you were allowed to take photographs, but thank you so much for taking them! So often such places don't allow it.

Elizabeth Braun said...

Sooo many places don't allow photos - I'm glad this one did! Imagine how long it would take to stitch this bedding.....!!

Marty52 said...

Stunning... and GREAT picture of you!

Ingrid Mida said...

What beautiful photos Susan. I wish I'd been at your side.... I cannot wait to hear more about your project.

Sandra Henderson said...

Looks as if nothing has changed. lol
Did you eat at that little restaurant down at the bottom of the pool there? yum.
So many people every day go through there.
Same with me seeing Mona Lisa at Louvre, from VERY far away over the heads of a gazillion Japanease that Easter. Same with Giverny also.
Those memories stay with me daily, STILL, even 10 years later. Can't believe it's been that long! So happy for you.

Stitching Noni said...

Wow Susan, what an amazing day you must have had, and what a stunning place to visit. Thank you so very much for sharing some of your photos. I have a little cushion that replicates the MA embroidery and I just love it - I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to see Marie Antoinette's bedchamber!

http://firefliescatsinthegarden.blogspot.com.au/

Anonymous said...

Your pictures were amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your story and pictures. I hope to take my daughter this summer. I will send you some links on Versailles, you probably already have all this information I have, but just in case, I send it on. LOVE YOUR POSTS

Rhonda

Anonymous said...

I loved the pics so much thank u for sharing u made me want to grab my bag and go to paris to the chateaux

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