Monday, 8 April 2013

Madame Victoire's Second Antechamber

Along with the First Antechamber of Madame Victoire this room was originally a bathroom of Louis XIV. The Sun King had chosen to use marble for the walls and floors (much like you see in bathrooms of today). One end of the salon was dominated by a couch placed inside a framed alcove. The window shutters are also from the time when the room functioned as a bathroom and they are decorated with dolphins.

After Louis XIV the room went into the possession of the Count de Toulouse and after him the Countess de Toulouse. But rooms at Versailles often changed hands and this particular salon soon became the home of Madame Adélaïde. Madame Victoire took over the room but at that time she lived with her two other sisters Sophie and Louise. The room finally became Madame Victoire's completely when it was made into a second antechamber in 1767 - that year the alcove was removed.

It is widely believed that the wood-works were carved for Madame Victoire herself. The paintings above the doors (by Oudry) were originally intended for the Dauphin but found their way into this salon instead; they depict the Fables of La Fontaine. A white marble bust of Marie Josephine Louise of Savoy is placed on the mantelpiece. A Riesener chest-drawer placed in this room has been transferred from the southern wing from the apartment of the Countess d'Artois. A large folding-screen has been placed in the corner and a clock in the "Chinese" style rounds up the inventory list of the second antechamber. The colour of the walls are white which is quite a rare sight at Versailles; normally a wall is either elaborately decorated or painted in a pale colour on carved wood-work.

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