Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Renaissance Rooms

Francis I created the Renaissance Rooms of Fontainebleau and meant to be a sign of his own and his country's glory. The Francis I Gallery is a part of these rooms but I will describe that in another post (check out the main page for Fontainebleau).

Otherwise there is the chamber of the Duchesse d'Etampes (Anne de Pisselieu) who was the maîtresse-en-titre of Francis I. Her chamber was located right next to the King's own - quite convenient. At first the room was decorated by Primaticcio who worked on the chamber between 1541-48. He left a magnificent stucco work behind rich with figurines and allegories to the love life of Alexander. Louis XV wanted this to be the room for the King's Staircase but kept some of the original work during his alterations in 1748-1749. Lastly, Louis-Philippe had the ceiling finished completely.






The Ballroom is another pearl on the string of the Renaissance Rooms. It was also begun during Francis I but he died before it could be completed so his son, Henry II, took over. The ballroom's frescoes were created by Nicollo dell'Abbate who followed the design of Primaticcio. The chimney (by Philibert Delorme) is flanked by motifs of hunting - after all Fontainebleau is perfect for hunting located as it is near large forests. Originally, there were two large bronze satyrs on each side of the fireplace but they were melted down during the revolution - now they have been restored. Like every other palace the musicians were placed on a platform so they would not mingle with the noble lords and ladies; above the platform there are musical motifs. The very walls of the room is adorned with mythological motifs.
One side is flanked by large windows above which chandeliers hang.





This is the musicians' platform
Close-up of one of the chandeliers

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