article | Reading time5 min
article | Reading time5 min
Go back to the heart of the 18th century by visiting the apartments of the Intendants of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, a true "Versailles laboratory" in terms of furnishings. As you walk through these ancient and extremely refined dwellings, you will discover the taste of the 18th century in all areas of the decorative arts: from the study to the reception rooms, from the bedrooms to the bathroom!
To fulfill the promise of a journey to the Age of Enlightenment, it was decided to restore the Intendant's apartments to their late18th century state by erasing the traces of the Ministry of the Navy's passage. This was made possible by the discovery of the original paintings, underneath the more recent layers of paint, and their restoration as well as the use of materials and techniques of the time.
For example, you can see the original sky-blue paint in the tiled antechamber, which was found after removing 18 layers of paint!
The restoration of the decorations, which the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and its experts wanted to carry out, also highlights the curtains, furnishing fabrics and wallpapers, either original or artificially patinated, in order to give back to the rooms of the Intendants' apartments their original atmosphere.
What could be more important than the furniture to give back the atmosphere of the past?
Thanks to the inventory of the furniture of the Garde-Meuble, it has been possible to identify most of the furniture and fabrics present in the Hôtel de la Marine in the 18th century.
Thus, you will find exceptional pieces of furniture throughout the tour, masterpieces commissioned by the Intendants from great master cabinetmakers. You will be able to admire three unique pieces of furniture by the cabinetmaker Jean-Henri Riesener: a chest of drawers, a table for transformations and a writing table. These last two pieces, classified as national treasures, were commissioned by the Intendant Pierre-Elisabeth de Fontanieu to furnish his private apartments.
Discover the apartments as if the occupants had just left them! In the 18th century, the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne was a palace full of life: while the intendants lived in their private apartments, a myriad of servants, craftsmen, suppliers and visitors passed through these spaces every day.
The CMN called upon the restorers Joseph Achkar and Michel Charrière, who work in the most beautiful residences to bring back to life the atmosphere of the places they work in. In order to restore the soul of the rooms, they have imagined settings that allow visitors to project themselves into the atmosphere of the 18th century. From the intensity of the light to the patina of the decorations, not to mention the positioning of each piece of furniture and object: everything has been thought out for an immersion in the Age of Enlightenment.
In the Dining Room, for example, the choice was made to stage the end of a meal: a staging inspired by the painting "The Oyster Lunch" by Jean-François de Troy, which perfectly retranscribes the lively and convivial atmosphere of an 18th century meal.