Monday, May 4, 2009

Like A Rare Pearl...Le Boudoir Turc

This book, if you can find it, is gorgeous! I highly recommend this with a cup of tea and some smelling salts, you may faint over the splendor captured in this read!
Fontainebleau is such a beautiful place to visit. My favorite portion of this grand and fabulous chateau (aside from that breathtaking and famous staircase) would have to be Marie Antoinette's' gem...her Turkish boudoir. This has always been one of my faves :) I had read about it before but seeing it in person is stunning. You cannot really get from the photos the effect of the pearlized walls and the very intimate and personal feeling of the boudoir.

Note the MA initials painted by Rousseau

A place of refuge of an unequalled luxury, located above the Queen’s own boudoir, the boudoir turc is one of the Château’s secret most beautiful places.

All I see in this photo is that stunning chandy!

Under a ceiling painted like the heavens inhabited by cherubs and angels, the eight-sided room is decorated in silvery hues making you feel like you are inside of a pearl or standing on the edge of a cloud.

The decoration consists of woodwork painted and carved with Turkish themes. In 1777, Queen Marie-Antoinette commissioned architect Richard Mique to design the boudoir. She commissioned artisans like Barthelemy, Rousseau, Roland, Toutefois, and Riesener et Jacob. Subsequently, it was used as a private bedroom by empress Joséphine and later by empress Marie-Louise. The furniture created for the boudoir has been entirely preserved. Miraculously surviving the Revolution.

The room includes sumptuous fabrics, such as gold lamé velvet, gold strip taffeta, gold embroidered silk, embroidered muslin, as well as soft furnishings and golden fringes.

The famous desk (above) is truly a work of art and one of a kind. Made by Riesener, ébéniste ordinaire du roi, of bronze and mother-of-pearl. The desk and side table are in their original places. A wonder to behold!

I wish I had a photo of the ironwork and details of the window fittings and flourished grills surrounding the windows. It is said that Louis himself made these for Marie Antoinette and they are beautiful. Painted in a brilliant deep Blue hue gilded with Gold.

Another great book that shows a snippet from this pearl wonder of a boudoir is Le Lieux de La Riene by Boyer & Halard, it is in French but I believe there is a translated version out there. It has wonderful images.
A small bit of beauty for your day today! Left for us by a legendary woman with exceptional taste! Have a great Tuesday!
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  1. It looks very beautiful in the photos, too, even though it probably is even more wonderful in real life! I wonder what people in the future will make of the architecture and interior design of the 20. century... What we design nowadays isn't quite in the same league as this. Then again, it's of course a question of priorities regarding how to spend our money!
    Hope I get the chance to see this place someday. Lovely post as usual!
    Trudi xo

  2. Hi Judith,
    Just learned something new, I really didn't know much about this spot at all so you have me wanting to learn more. Gorgeous....all that gilt and silver combined, oh my! Somewhere else to visit one day. Thanks for sharing such beauty (and detail).

  3. This is so stunning. I have recently taken a liking to Marie Antoinette...I know! For a Frenchy like me, you ask, "She is barely getting it?" There is so much to love about France and French art that I am barely getting around to the queen! Thank you for the lovely photos. I must check out the book. Barb at The French Elements also featured a great book to get your French kicks out of this summer! Bonne journée Madame et que BRAVO! Merci bien, Anita

  4. I will look for this book! The pictures are stunning! I must plan a visit soon to see the Turkish's heavenly. I can just picture Josephine there:) Thanks for another lovely post ma belle Judith:)
    Have a great day,

  5. Hi Judith~

    What BEAUTY in Fontainebleau! I do agree with you photo's never do anything justice. I also LOVE the grounds here, simple elegance! The woods so peaceful...I have heard Monet and Renoir painted there! Thank you Judith for the memories!

    ~Miss Kris~

  6. Judith,
    I have always imagined rooms like this..all gilt and silver~~ This is SO stunning! It proves we can mix it all... just like all shades of whites, it doesn't have to be one or the other... it all comes together in pure beauty. Thank you for the inspiring post once again~

  7. I have been to this fab chateau so many times but didn't pay attention to this. Maybe I was on castle-overload?
    Anyways... I think, after seeing these amazing pics, I have A LOT of work to do on my boudoir.
    Thanks for the gorgeous post!

  8. If I were to promise the staff to paint their portraits do you think they would let me move in?! What a beautiful place!!!

  9. Judith, I love that you have shared that book! I want it and I've only seen the cover of it. This is something else.. all that detail is unbelieveable!

  10. These rooms re-define the term


  11. Salut Judith,

    I have missed this part as well while visiting and this book is something I have to check thank's for sharing this info.

    My next post will show some pictures of Stockholm in full bloom on my way to work....hope you will stop by.


  12. Judith, what an amazing book! Thanks for sharing such gorgeous photos!!!!

  13. Love the wall painting...and the mother of pearl writing desk, of course! The other thing I love about Fontainbleu is that after your tour, one can rent a boat and paddle the small lake just outside! Heaven!

  14. Those photos are stunning! I would love to see these rooms in real life.

  15. OMG, I've never seen these images -it's marvelous! i'm off to find the book NOW!

  16. How gorgeous...I can't imagine being surrounded by that much opulence. She certainly did have the BEST taste!

  17. I have been lucky to have been in this room a few times on tours. It is amazing! I ordered two copy's of the book off of Amazon France.

  18. hello, I'm a french studient working on Marie Antoinette taste for exotism.
    May I use your picture for my work?
    I will put the link of your blog of course on my bibliography.
    I hope you will agree*^w^*
    I'm waiting for an answer on
    thank in advance!!!


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