Fit for a Queen!

Sunday, November 07, 2010 | Category: Antiques and Collectibles

Last week I got back from a much needed vacation to Paris and Amsterdam.  While I have to say that I loved both cities (and the fact that they were completely different), my favorite part of the trip was visiting Paris’ Palace of Versailles.  This gorgeous structure was built in the 17th century for Louis XIV, “the Sun King”, and is a hop, skip, and a jump away from The Petit Trianon, which was once home to Material Girls’ “mascot”, Marie Antoinette!

I was just completely in awe of every room in the Palace.  They were all so grand, ornate and detailed.  There was so much of it to explore but first order of business was the notorious Hall of Mirrors.

Rows and rows of crystal chandeliers were lined up throughout this impressive gallery; however, these weren’t the only pieces that drew your attention upwards.  A beautiful painted ceiling with gilt detailing was just another one of the highlights of this area.  The seventeen arches don’t go unnoticed either. These housed beautiful mirrors and sat in between marble pilasters.

Being an interior designer, seeing this was really a treat and I’m sure Ben loved spending hours and hours here watching me obsess over every detail.

And this was only just the beginning!  I meandered from room to room- each room being more ornate than the last.  I couldn’t get over the detailed material that was used for fabrics and wallpaper (many of which reminded me of the luxe, traditional brocade and damask prints that I often see at the design district).  I had to remind myself that this wasn’t a showroom and that I couldn’t touch the textiles (or check out samples)!

Although this room wasn’t the most fancy and done up, it was probably my favorite. The cream walls, crystal chandelier, oil paintings, warm wood tones, and soft blue-green upholstery was so breathtaking.

I couldn’t get over the light fixtures in the Palace.  It can be difficult to find light fixtures on such a large scale, but Louis apparently had no problem!

The palace’s version of the “x bench”

Dispersed throughout Versailles (until December 12th) you can find random pieces by artist, Takashi Murakami meant to “juxtapose” with the traditional space.  I’m sorry, don’t want to offend anyone here, but I have to say that I did NOT like this addition and thought that it looked completely misplaced and random.  For someone who had never toured Versailles before, I felt that these pieces interrupted the historical flow throughout the building and were only distractions to Versailles’ beauty.

I would excitedly turn the corner, getting ready to lay eyes on the gorgeous Hall of Mirrors for the first time and then ran into THIS blonde cartoon bombshell?  No thank you!  What would Marie A think? Don’t get me wrong, I think Murakami can produce some interesting art, but would have rather seen it on its own separately.

Oil painting of Marie Antoinette…

We then hopped in a golf cart and drove on over to Marie Antoinette’s infamous residence- the Petit Trianon.

Marie Antoinette was Louis XVI’s wife and she lived in this small chateau in 1774 at just nineteen years old.  This smaller, simpler structure was a complete departure from the extravagant look of the Palace of Versailles.  The trianon gave us a closer look into the Queen’s life and how she desired to live in peace at this residence without all the harsh rules of etiquette and extreme formality.

This was Marie’s bedroom.  Such a difference  between Louis’ palace and the Petit Trianon!  It’s almost like two different worlds.

And FYI- nobody was allowed into the Petit Trianon without Marie’s invitation!

Aside from all of the beautiful interiors, the exterior was absolutely picturesque.  Winding through the gardens became an adventure (especially when we only had an hour on the golf cart, which included a few wrong turns).

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4 Comments to 'Fit for a Queen!'

Sonya Ferreira-Cunha 07 Nov 10 at 10:30 am

Looks like you had an amazing trip! Versailles is such a dream, isn’t it? I haven’t been there in many years, but I remember it fondly. I think that trip was the beginning of my obsession with chandeliers. Your post makes me want to go back right away. And I totally agree with you about the Murakami artwork. How random!! Thanks for sharing.

Dane Caldwell 07 Nov 10 at 10:52 am

Thanks for the walk through! I would be so disappointed with the manga ‘art’ being there.

I was 18 when I went to Versailles. I was totally enthralled and it is to this day my favorite!

*bisous* Dane

MaterialGirls 07 Nov 10 at 6:48 pm

Hi Sonya- Thx for your comment! I had never been to Europe before so Versailles was like another world to me! I can see why you became obsessed w/ chandeliers after your trip!

Dane- you need to revisit! You would probably be completely shocked by the M art there. So random!

Julia-Chicago 08 Nov 10 at 8:03 am

That quietly elegant cream room was my favorite inside the palace as well. Wall of mirrors was a close second.
Interesting about Murakami…Remember the Jeff Koons exhibit there?
Looks and sounds like you had a an amazing trip! Post on Amsterdam soon?
xo

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