Enfilade

Versailles Apartment of Mme du Barry Unveiled after Restoration

Posted in exhibitions, films, on site by Editor on November 27, 2022

The suite of fourteen rooms was completed in 1770 under the direction of Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Madame du Barry lived there for five years (1770–1774).

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The newly restored private apartment of Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry (1743–1793) opened last month in connection with the exhibition Louis XV: Passions of a King. From The Art Newspaper:

Claudia Barbieri, “Louis XV’s Official Mistress Leaves the Shadows, as Restoration of her Versailles Apartment Reveals Secretive Life,” The Art Newspaper (19 October 2022). Madame du Barry, whose life is the subject of a new Netflix film, was born into poverty and sold trinkets on the streets of Paris before joining court circles in her 20s.

François-Hubert Drouais, Portrait of Madame Du Barry, 1769 (Château de Versailles).

In late October 1722, King Louis XV was crowned in Reims cathedral. This month, the Château de Versailles in Paris marks 300 years since the king’s coronation with an exhibition of 400 works and artefacts that reveal the private life of a monarch whose regal lifestyle paved the way for the French Revolution.

But the highlight of the exhibition is the restored chambers of the king’s last official mistress, Madame du Barry, which are fully open to the public for the first time.

Over the past 18 months, and at a cost of €5m, the Parisian restoration specialists Ateliers Gohard—known for restoring the Statue of Liberty’s torch—have painstakingly renovated the 18th-century decor of Du Barry’s home by gradually stripping away layer upon layer of paint to reveal the colours the king’s mistress chose. . . .

Du Barry was famed for her patronage of artists and craftsmen. But, after her death, her possessions were scattered through the Paris sale rooms. Most have never been recovered. An approximation of her chambers will soon be used in a Netflix-produced film adaptation of her life, with the US actor Johnny Depp playing King Louis XV and the French actor Maïwenn playing Du Barry [Maïwenn also directs the film]. Shooting is currently taking place at locations in and around Versailles.

The full article is available here»

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