Exhibition | Madame de Maintenon

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (summary), exhibitions by Editor on April 28, 2019

Now on view at Versailles:

Madame de Maintenon: In the Corridors of Power
Château de Versailles, 16 April — 21 July 2019

Curated by Alexandre Maral and Mathieu da Vinha

The first exhibition entirely devoted to the Marquise of Maintenon, on the tercentenary of her death on 15 April 1719, recounts the extraordinary life of Françoise d’Aubigné (1635–1719). She was born in a prison yet went on to become the Sun King’s wife in 1683.

The different stages of her life are shown in around 60 works from the collections of Versailles and other museums, including paintings, drawings, engravings, books, sculptures, medals, and so on. The visit passes through the four adjoining rooms of the apartment she lived in from 1682 until 1715, on the first floor of the Palace’s central section.

The scenography returns the walls to their original colours at the time. They are richly draped in alternating silk panels as described in the Furniture Store-House inventories from 1708: red damask, crimson damask, and red taffeta for the second antechamber; green and gold damask for the bedroom; and crimson and gold flower damask for the Chambers. This installation was made possible thanks to the restoration of these wall hangings by Tassinari et Chatel, the nation’s oldest silk manufacturer, founded in Lyon by Louis XIV.

The exhibition is curated by Alexandre Maral (Head Curator for Heritage and Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles) and Mathieu da Vinha (Scientific Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles), with scenography by Jérôme Dumoux.

Alexandre Maral and Mathieu da Vinha, Madame de Maintenon: Dans les allées du pouvoir (Paris: Hazan, 2019), 192 pages, ISBN: 978-2754110723, 35€.

The exhibition brochure (in French and English) is available as PDF file here

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Symposium | Madame de Maintenon, 1719–2019
Château de Versailles, 21–23 March 2019

This international symposium offered a fresh look at this multifaceted historical figure, reviewing the biographical aspects of the Marquise, as well as her correspondence and the literary and iconographic legend surrounding her.

Details along with audio recordings are available here.

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