Exceptional new photography brings readers behind the scenes of the Trianons and Marie Antoinette's Hamlet at Versailles--including areas usually closed to the public.
Life in the Château de Versailles was dense with pomp and circumstance, and the royals often craved a quiet moment with friends and lovers far from the din of the court. Hidden away from the palace on the grounds nearby, the kings built the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and the Queen's Hamlet, where they could slip away to entertain their inner circle. This book explores every aspect of life at these private outbuildings, from the furnishings and gardens to the history and inhabitants.
In 1687, the sun king Louis XIV conceived of the Grand Trianon and its exceptional parterres and fountains as a seamless link between court and garden--a private retreat where he could withdraw with his family and escape the heavy hand of protocol. Louis XV commissioned the Petit Trianon, a neoclassical masterpiece with four unique facades, its famous menagerie, and botanical gardens. Louis XVI bestowed the Petit Trianon on Marie Antoinette; in her gardens and picturesque hamlet and farm, the queen's presence is more tangible here than anywhere else at Versailles.
This handsome volume, with newly commissioned photography, is both a historical testimony and an intimate visit on the grounds of the palace of Versailles.
About the Author
Jacques Moulin is the chief architect for numerous French heritage sites, including Versailles. Francis Hammond has contributed to many books, including Versailles: A Private Invitation, Historic Houses of Paris, and A Day at Versailles. Yves Carlier, general curator at Versailles and specialist in sixteenth- to nineteenth-century French decorative arts and design, wrote A Day at Versailles.
“Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet at Versailles (Flammarion) offers lush photographs of some of [Marie-Antoinette’s] favorite spaces on the vast estate … . Featuring areas often closed to the public, this glossy tome presents a rare glimpse into the private world of one of history’s most notorious royals.” —Harper’s Bazaar
“Almost by definition, the Trianons of Versailles are a sub plot – always the junior partner to the great palace at the other end of the garden – the ancien regime version of the garden shed, or the weekend getaway; but they have also long spun myths all of their own – from the orientalising luxuries of the first royal mistress to inhabit them, Mme de Montespan, to the vanities of Marie Antoinette and, a century later, her admirer the Empress Eugenie.
This beautifully produced book, exclusively focussed on the Trianons, brings those stories centre stage, but it also offers a treasury of scholarly information, setting these legends in the context of how the buildings, gardens and furnishings were designed and made. A longitudinal study, it affords fascinating insights into the ways in which each new Trianon built upon, and transformed, its predecessor, enabling the reader to trace in the building we encounter today, fragments of the original ‘porcelain’ palace, and beneath that, the long-disappeared village that gives both the place, and the very idea of a Trianon, its name.” —Ed Hollis, Acting Dean for Research, College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor of Interior Design, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, Scotland