The Duchesse called upon Antoine Watteau to carry out the fine carvings of the salons. She was later visited by Peter the Great during his stay in France. Eventually, the Duchesse died at la Muette after a birth that proved too much to bear.
Louis XV became the new owner of la Muette and would use it as a pleasant retreat where he could entertain his mistresses. Three of the Nesle-sisters were brought here as were Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry. Not much remains of the Duchesse de Berry's château since Louis XV had it entirely rebuilt and greatly expanded.
In 1764 Louis-Auguste was granted possession of la Muette and it housed Marie Antoinette when she arrived in France. It is said that Louis XVI spent the happiest days of his life there with his young wife. It was also here that Marie Antoinette's brother, Joseph II, visited incognito. Actually, Louis XVI's interest in natural science meant that he gave a part of the ground over to the cultivation of potatoes - these had not been used for feeding humans in Europe yet (apart from Ireland but that is a whole different story). It was also from this château that the first hot-air balloon was launched in 1783.
The original château was demolished in 1793 and the one that stands in its' place is somewhat resembling it.
|View from the gardens in 1730|
|Plan of la Muette|