Monday, November 14, 2011

House of the Week

I guess you can call this a "house" of the week, but perhaps "small chateau" might be a better way to describe this exquisite residence.

Le Petite Trianon

Le Petite Trianon was designed by Ange-Jacgues Gabriel for Louis XV and was built between 1762-68. It was built for Louis XV's mistress Madame de Pompadour, but she died before it's completion. When Louis XVI ascended the throne in 1774 he gave the chateau to his young wife, Marie Antoinette. She used the residence as a way to escape from the pressure of court life at Versailles.

Here is a great description:

"His (Gabriel's) best-known structure, the Petit Trianon—designed for Mme de Pompadour in 1761 and considered among the most perfect buildings in France—is one of several modest works he erected for the court. At the Petit Trianon, the handling of the order, the window frames, balustrades, and other features derive closely from the French Classical tradition. Gabriel's debt to the past is equally apparent in the building's noble aura of imperturbable dignity, its harmonious proportions, and the precision and elegance of its detailing. But the deceptively modest structure exemplifies Neoclassical taste, for it is severe in its cubic geometry, restrained in articulation, and barren of the accents of relief sculpture typical of seventeenth-century French design."

— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p409-10.

In the warming kitchen...

The Salon

The sitting room off of Marie Antoinette's bedroom

Her bedroom

Marie Antoinette by Madame Vigee Lebrun, this portrait hangs in the billiard room at Le Petite Trianon

Another portrait by Mme Lebrun, who painted the Queen several times. This one is more informal, and one wonders if this type of simple dress is what she wore at Le Petite Trianon in her garden.


  1. Didn't you love the mirrored sections of boiserie that retracted down to reveal the windows?!

    There is an early 20th century replica (to a great extent) in Greenwich, CT, that I have driven past, but never seen inside. Perhaps one of your readers can report.

  2. Spellbindingly beautiful! Wow...amazing how all those details built so long ago are still so incredible elegant and timeless!

  3. that is so awesome!! especially the salon!

  4. This is one of my favorite places in the world. I just love this house. Can't wait to get back to see it .

  5. You must have been in Architectural Heaven on your travels! Envious.