I was thrilled to go Inside the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles while visiting France in 2011. It seems to be hit or miss on whether or not the ‘casual’ residences of the Palace will be open to the public based on previous visits, but happily this was one of those days. Looking back, I’m a bit stunned at the amount of photos I took on this trip, but now they’re becoming a great resource for my blog.
The Petit Trianon was built between 1762 and 1768 during the reign of Louis XV. It’s considered a small Chateau and is located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, in Versailles, France. Originally built for Madame de Pompadour by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, it ultimately became 19 year old Marie Antoinette’s exclusive residence. The residence became her refuge from the demands of formal ‘court life’ and her royal responsibilities. Known as a Neoclassical residence, each side of the home has a different facade based on how it will be viewed from that part of the estate.
This residence transitions from the Rococo Style into the Neoclassical Style. Some hallmarks of that design period include the thin fluted legs of the Harpsichord seen in the Public Salon, as well as the elegant round table in the sitting room that appears to have sevre porcelain inlays as well as a delicate gold tea rail. If you look closely at the sitting room photo, you’ll see what appears to be hidden panels in the wall. You’ll also notice there’s a decorative garland on the wall at the top of the staircase and a gilt garland over the mirror in the public salon. Garlands like this help define the Neoclassical Period.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s the repetition of a design element that help define a space. And it appears nothing ties a place together better than gold! Even in the beautifully pastel colored room, the gilt mirrors and candelabra tie that room into the rest of the residence. And don’t you just love those gilt fireplace andirons. I especially love the design of the servants uniforms. Until I reviewed my photos, I didn’t realize how beautifully they tie in with the color palette of the residence. I think they’re so spectacular, and yet they were on display in a lower level hallway that most tourists might have missed. I wonder if the competitors on Project Runway have ever seen these, it might give them a bit of inspiration.