On April 25th, 2013, the Palace of Versailles will re-open the newly restored and refurnished apartments of Mesdames, as the king’s daughters were called. Six of the nine rooms of these sumptuous apartments have been entirely refurnished thanks to the work of numerous applied arts craftsmen and new deposits and acquisitions.
Under the reign of Louis XV, the apartments of Mesdames were, after those of the king, the most sumptuous of the Palace of Versailles. Located on the ground floor of the central section, they were occupied for twenty years, from 1769 until the Revolution, by the princesses Adélaïde and Victoire, Louis XV’s daughters. These apartments have now recovered their furniture and fittings made for the royal household and the objets d’art that decorated them: a veritable unrecognized treasure that has emerged from the storerooms of Versailles.
Six of the nine rooms making up this double apartment have been entirely refurnished along with, in the principal rooms, the Lyon silk wall hangings and curtains newly woven and based on models from the 18th century. The furniture made by outstanding cabinetmakers and the objets d’art were originally made for the royal household, and most of them are deposits made by the Louvre and the Mobilier National or new acquisitions, among them three vases with a green background painted by Charles-Nicolas Dodin.
To complete this major operation, the second phase (originally planned for 2015-2016) will begin in 2013. It will involve re-upholstering the seats made by Foliot for the library and, above all, re-weaving two prestigious fabrics: one for furnishing the large drawing-room of Madame Victoire, and the other to upholster the “eagles” furniture of the bedroom of Marie-Antoinette in Saint-Cloud which will decorate the small inner room of Madame Adélaïde.
Apart from recreating the luxurious atmosphere in which Louis XV’s daughters lived, this refurnishing operation also aims at showing their taste for the arts, particularly for reading (the great Greek and Latin classics) and especially for music. So the drawing-rooms of Mesdames will feature musical instruments from the collections of Versailles: the drawing-room organ made by Somer (the instrument maker of the king’s daughters), the violin said to have been Madame Adélaïde’s, the piano-forte deposited by the Mobilier National and recently restored, and the harpsichords made by Ruckers and Blanchet.