Friday, 29 March 2013

Cabinet de la Meridienne

Marie Antoinette would use this room to rest in at midday - this is where the cabinet got its name from (Meridienne meaning midday). The room was redecorated for the last time in 1781 after Marie Antoinette finally gave birth to a son. She would use this room when she should choose what to wear. But besides this the room had a practical function as well: the maids could use this room without disturbing the Queen. The room itself is an octagon.
The decoration of this room is packed with symbolic references to Marie Antoinette and her family: a dolphin symbolizes children (a special tribute to the recent birth of a Dauphin), the Hapsburg eagle for the Queen, the symbol of Jupiter for the King, peacocks and the goddess Juno for marriage and rose stems with hearts pierced by arrows.

This room was obviously important to the Queen which can be seen in the delicateness of the iron work, the exquisite red fireplace by Campan, beautiful blue chairs by George Jacob and a pedestal made of gilded bronze.

A strange episode occurred in this room. When Marie Antoinette explored it for the first time with her friends she noticed something in the mirror that would prove to be a bad omen. Due to a specific angle, her reflection in the mirror was cut off by the neck - making it look like she had been beheaded.

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