Versailles represents the exquisite perfection that artists and master craftsmen can achieve, and the Palace plays a leading role in promoting French culture and art around the world.
Versailles and Martell, the French Cognac house founded in 1715, share the same vision of luxury, the French “art of living”, and the finest gastronomy.
It is in this spirit that Martell decided to support the restoration to its former splendour of the famous Queen’s Antechamber at Versailles.
This room, reserved for the King’s supper, features exceptional paintings that were damaged over the years.
It took no less than eighteen months and the work of fourteen restorers to bring them back to their original state.
Louis XIV took his supper in the Grand Couvert every day at ten o’clock in the evening, surrounded by his family and a crowd of courtiers.
For an hour, savoury dishes and desserts were carried ceremoniously from the kitchens, watched attentively by the Court.
The antechamber of the Grand Couvert is located in the long suite of rooms of the Queen’s Grand Apartment which goes from the Guards Room to the Peace Salon.
Decorated between 1671 and 1680, and dedicated to the god of war Mars, the paintings draw their subjects from episodes of ancient history featuring “powerful women” who won fame in war by their courage, such as Artemesia, queen of Helicarnassus.
Fourteen restorers were assigned to this delicate task. The surface of the paintings, on the ceiling of the room, was flaking in many places.
The restoration required the installation of a complete scaffolding and the creation of a “tunnel” to allow the passage of visitors from the Nobles Salon to the Guards Room of the same Apartment of the Queen.
After the work on the painted decor, the stucco decoration on the ceiling was then restored and the wall hangings were re-hung.
All the furniture was restored: the royal armchairs and stools were returned to their places around a table with the period’s dimensions which was set following the rules of the Ancien Regime with an 18th century silver dinner service.
Thus, for the first time, a room of the Queen’s Grand Apartment has recovered its original appearance, thanks to the joint efforts of the Chateau de Versailles and Martell & Co.
To celebrate the renovation of the Queen’s Antechamber, Martell has hosted a lavish dinner Monday, October 19, 2010 “The Ultimate Dinner” along with many political figures, as well as from the world of arts and cinema, including Sophie Marceau, Christophe Lambert…
The program of the evening: Cocktail, presentation of the restored Queen’s Antichambre, the Murakami exhibition and a 4 course dinner, with 4 different cognacs of Martell
LUXUO team was fortunate to attend this very special event along with selected bloggers who are passionate about the luxury, gastronomy and spirits universe.
Many thanks to Martell team for this timeless trip through elegance, art de vivre and french gastronomy with Cognac being the clue.
Visit www.the-queens-antechamber.com to learn more about the restoration of the Queen’s Antechamber of Versailles and view more photos of the event.