Queen Marie-Antoinette’s Bedchamber at Versailles
The prior post in this series had the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, presented to Marie-Antoinette. Gabrielle is now part of the Court, though she has not been offered any official position there (yet.)
As a presented lady, Gabrielle is admitted to the Queen’s Bedchamber. This room, like the Salon of the Nobles, looks very much as it did in Marie-Antoinette’s time. You can see, against the back wall, the monumental jewelry case she ordered. On the mantel, a bust of the Queen. Above the mirror, a portrait of Joseph II, her brother. Portraits of Louis XVI and Empress Maria Theresa (not visible here) also decorate the room.
The hangings and drapes in this picture were also ordered by Marie-Antoinette for the summer decoration of her bedchamber. They would have been replaced by another set, in a different pattern, in winter.
Now for Gabrielle’s remembrances:
During the spring and summer of 1787, the Duchess and I returned to Versailles on a few Sundays. Neither of us found much pleasure in those outings, and I in particular could not go there without mortifying memories intruding upon my mind. We avoided the Queen’s gaming salon and never stayed overnight. The Duchess nevertheless pointed out that, in my situation, I needed to meet as many people as possible and would be unwise to shun the Court altogether.
We would wait amongst a crowd of other ladies in the Salon of the Nobles, the green room where I had been presented. At noon, the doors to the Queen’s Bedchamber flew open. As in the King’s apartment, a balustrade divided the room into two areas, one for the giant gilded bed, draped in heavy silks embroidered with flowers, peacock feathers and lilac branches, and the other for the Queen to greet her visitors. We seldom stayed more than a few moments, for many other ladies, their huge paniers pressing against our own, awaited their chance to be noticed by the Queen. We soon retreated to the Salon of the Nobles.
All posts in the Footsteps of Gabrielle series: