Palace of Versailles embroidery - Part 2

Palace of Versailles embroidery - Part 2

- Categories : Museums and Heritage

Second part of the discovery of Palace of Versailles cross stitch pattern chart. To read first part it’s here.

Detail of the Bull’Eye Antechamber Tapestry

 

THE BULL’S EYE ANTECHAMBER TAPESTRY

 

The Palace of Versailles is home to numerous tapestries, difficult to evoke in a pattern like this because of their gigantic proportions. This is the detail of a door curtain in the Bull’s Eye Antechamber, named after the circular window which lets light through to the room on the south side. Refurbished in 1701 at the same time that Louis XIV set up his formal Bedchamber in the centre of the Palace, the antechamber welcomed the courtiers who came to watch the king’s getting up and going to bed ceremonies. The tapestry on this door curtain represents the French coat of arms in the centre. I wanted to include the fleur-de-lys, symbol of the French royalty, in this pattern chart. It was difficult to place this motif, and finally, it fell naturally and nimbly slightly overlapping the title.

THE MARBLE COURTYARD
AND THE HALL OF MIRRORS

The Marble Courtyard and a detail of a stool in the Hall of Mirrors

 

On the left, an interpretation of the Marble Courtyard. It may not have a lot to do with textiles, however it is easy to imagine that the geometric motif was made to be embroidered in cross stitch. By the side is the interpretation of a tapestry from the Savonnerie Manufactory which covers one of the 32 stools in the Hall of Mirrors. These carved wood stools date from the period of Louis-Philippe and are decorated with a squirrels, birds and rose bouquets. The tapestry was reconstructed in 1978 by Maison Hamot in Paris, now, unfortunately, no longer in existence.

THE QUEEN’S BEDCHAMBER IN THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES

The fabric and the borders in Queen’s Bedchamber at Palace of Versailles

 

The sumptuous drapes in the Queen’s Bedchamber are known as “summer furniture”, as they were installed from spring to autumn. Known as “gros de Tours”, a heavy taffeta decorated with a cloud of flowers, ribbons and peacock feathers, also known as “The Queen’s Brocade”. The original fabric was woven in Lyon by Desfarges Brothers. It was dispersed after the Revolution and was re-woven in the 20th Century by Maison Lamy & Gautier, again in Lyon. This is an interpretation of part of the wall draping. If you have a chance to visit the Palace, take time to admire the alcove, the couch and cushions, the chairs, the fireguard and the stools, all different, but all inspired by this same motif. A real delight! On the left, just as admirable as the wall hangings are the borders composed of roses and lilac, also found on the couches and stools. They are woven on an “apple green” base, which I have not included in this small sample.

THE QUEEN’S BEDCHAMBER IN LE PETIT TRIANON

The border of the fabric in Queen’s Bedchamber in Le Petit Trianon

Versailles is not just the Palace and gardens, but also the Trianons. The special charm of the Petit Trianon bears the imprint of Marie-Antoinette. I could not resist reproducing the border of the fabric in the Queen’s Bedchamber. It is often said that Marie-Antoinette created a Trianon style. Pierre de Nolhac (1859-1936), one of the enlightened curators of the Palace said of the Petit Trianon - “good taste instead of expected luxury”, in other words, extreme refinement at its simplest.

THE GOLD AT VERSAILLES AND APOLLO THE SUN GOD

The gold at Versailles Palace and Apollo the Sun God

What is striking at Versailles is the omnipresence of gold, both inside and outside. I am not a fan of embroidery with metallic threads, but I could not leave out this important characteristic, so here is my interpretation: the double “L” for Louis, a grid and a pompom measuring roughly 3cm. Do the embroideries first, then make the pompom using the remaining thread and fix into place where indicated. On the right, The Sun God for the Sun King, the presence of Apollo can be seen all over the Palace of Versailles. In the Apollo room, of course, but also on many paintings, statues, tapestries, chair covers and door decorations.

THE VERSAILLES KINGS AND QUEENS

Versailles Kings and Queens silhouettes

These amusing silhouettes are a cross stitch interpretation of those found near the ticket office in the Palace. I liked the idea of placing them in this pattern chart as it adds a touch of humanity to this spectacular place where they all spent a large part of their life. And from a purely practical point of view, it added a harmonious touch to the bottom part of the embroider..

Visit the Palace of Versailles official website.

Also discover the pattern chart about Marie-Antoinette.

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