Monday, September 27, 2010

Marie Antoinette's tearoom, The Pavillion of Belvedere

The Pavillon of Belvedere situated on a pond over looking the English garden next to a stone grotto

                                                                                

Marie Antoinette is the only queen to have imposed her personal taste on Versailles in a grand style. Sweeping away the old court and its ancient traditions, she insisted on living as she wished. In her Trianon domain, which Louis XVI gave her in 1774, she found the heaven of privacy that enabled her to escape from the rigours of court etiquette. Nobody could come there without her invitation.

Marie Antoinette and children happy in the gardens of the Petite Trianon


                                                                                
The octagonal carved marble Belvedere was use as a teahouse where Marie Antoinette served tea, her self. Situated on a pond over looking the English garden next to a stone grotto, It was a favorite entertainment place for Marie Antoinette and her court. This building is a perfect illustration of the 18th century’s taste for picturesque compositions combining decorative gardens and architecture.The octagonal Belvedere was built between (1778-81), and consecrated to the four Seasons, in the newly-informal gardens of the Petit Trianon at Versailles.
The octagonal Belvedere was built between (1778-81), and consecrated to the four Seasons


The octagonal Belvedere was built between (1778-81), and consecrated to the four Seasons
                                                                                   

Salon du Rocher with stucco walls highlighted by arabesque and floral patterns are rounded off by polychrome marble tiles.


Salon du Rocher with stucco walls highlighted by arabesque and floral patterns


Salon du Rocher with stucco walls highlighted by arabesque and floral patterns


Salon du Rocher with stucco walls highlighted by arabesque and floral patterns



Guarded by figures of sphinxes framing each of the flights of steps, The Belevedere was also known as the pavilion of music, and was decorated with murals inspired by the paintings of Pompeii. The richness of its stucco decor on a white background highlighted by colorful arabesque and floral patterns. the Belvedere is built in the classical style matching that of the Temple of Love.The Grotto, located downhill from it, is a totally artificial rock feature, designed and sketched by the painter Hubert Robert, in the form of a pendant in a contrasting aesthetic style. Outside, it is decorated with sculptures by Deschamps: a fruit frieze garland once painted with colors, pediments evoking the pleasures of hunting and gardening, window imposts symbolizing the four seasons. The circular living room is paved with a marble mosaic tiles in interlocking semicircle and stair pattern.

                                                                                      

Furnishing the Pavillion of the Belvedere. The furnishing of the Belvedere was some of the most expensive items Marie Antoinette ordered. The pieces are very will documented as the original bills exist in the Archives Nationale in Paris. and were used in her trial during the French Revolution. In 1780, François Foliot made eight gilt wood armchairs and eight side chairs, designed in the Neoclassical style with carved bands of ivy, laurel wreaths, and fluting, they stood in the salon du Rocher of the Belvedere Pavilion, designed by Jacques Gondoin. This was one of Foliot’s last commissions before being replaced in the Queen’s favor by Georges Jacob. It is possible that the sculptor of the beautiful hymen’s torch uprights on the back and the pierced seat rail were sculpted by Foliot’s uncle, Nicolas Quinibert Foliot. What made this seating furniture so expensive was the hand embroidered gold and silver threads on a cream background.

Chair from the Belvedere Pavilion, 1782, Francois Foliot II (1748–after 1808), carved and gilded beech, original upholstery


Chair from the Belvedere Pavilion, 1782, Francois Foliot II (1748–after 1808), carved and gilded beech, modern upholstery


Chair from the Belvedere Pavilion, 1782, Francois Foliot II (1748–after 1808), carved and gilded beech, modern upholstery


An armchair designed by Foliot for Marie Antoinette. This is the sole survivor of a suite of eight armchairs for which the bills exist in the Archives Nationale. The carving and gently curving back reflects the decorative scheme devised by the architect Gondoin for the circular Pavilion in the grounds of the Petite Trianon.



Cups and saucers from my collection ordered by Marie Antoinette from her porcelain factory in Paris Rue Thiroux.
                                                                                  

Instead of ordering porcelain from the Royal porcelain factory of Sèvres. Marie Antoinette ordered porcelain from her porcelain factory in Paris under André Leboeuf on rue Thiroux. She chose a pattern that complimented her marble mosaic tile floor in interlocking semicircle and stair pattern. I'm lucky to own five tea cups and saucers ordered and used by Marie Antoinette in her grand circular Salon du Rocher in the Pavillion of the Belvedere at Versailles! As it is known that Marie Antoinette served tea herself in this elegant salon, so Marie Antoinette touch my cups! I like to think about what was talked about over a nice cup of hot tea with Marie Antoinette and friends.

Cups and saucers from my collection ordered by Marie Antoinette from her porcelain factory in Paris Rue Thiroux. The cups and saucers have a pattern that resemble the marble mosaic tile floor in interlocking semicircle and stair pattern.


Cups and saucers from my collection ordered by Marie Antoinette from her porcelain factory in Paris Rue Thiroux. The cups and saucers have a pattern that resemble the marble mosaic tile floor in interlocking semicircle and stair pattern.



Cups and saucers from my collection ordered by Marie Antoinette from her porcelain factory in Paris Rue Thiroux with the Crowned A mark for Marie Antoinette


                                                                                                                                                                  

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