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Petit Trianon

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Title: Petit Trianon  
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Subject: Moberly–Jourdain incident, Palace of Versailles, Marie Antoinette, 1768 in architecture, Marie Antoinette (2006 film)
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Petit Trianon

The Petit Trianon
Petit Trianon, northern facade.
The Salle à manger (dining room): finely carved boiseries are without gilding, simply painted to complement the bleu Turquin chimneypiece
The French Pavillon
The Belvedere in park of the Petit Trianon

Petit Trianon (French pronunciation: ​; "small Trianon"), built between 1762 and 1768 during the reign of Louis XV, is a small château located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France. The park of the Grand Trianon includes the Petit Trianon.

The Salon


  • Design and construction 1
  • Derivative buildings 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

Design and construction

It was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel by the order of Louis XV for his long-term mistress, Madame de Pompadour, and was constructed between 1762 and 1768. [1] Madame de Pompadour died four years before its completion, and the Petit Trianon was subsequently occupied by her successor, Madame du Barry. Upon his accession to the throne in 1774, the 20-year-old Louis XVI gave the château and its surrounding park to his 19-year-old Queen Marie Antoinette for her exclusive use and enjoyment.[1][2][3]

The château of the Petit Trianon is a celebrated example of the transition from the Rococo style of the earlier part of the 18th century, to the more sober and refined, Neoclassical style of the 1760s and onward. Essentially an exercise on a cube, the Petit Trianon attracts interest by virtue of its four facades, each thoughtfully designed according to that part of the estate it would face. The Corinthian order predominates, with two detached and two semi-detached pillars on the side of the formal French garden, and pilasters facing both the courtyard and the area once occupied by Louis XV's greenhouses. Overlooking the former botanical garden of the king, the remaining facade was left bare. The subtle use of steps compensates for the differences in level of the château's inclined location.

Marie Antoinette would come to the Petit Trianon not only to escape the formality of court life, but also to shake off the burden of her royal responsibilities. At Versailles, she was under considerable pressure and judgement from both her family and the court, and the Petit Trianon was her place of ease and leisure where she could rest from those trials. Since all was "de par la Reine" (by order of the Queen), none were permitted to enter the property without the Queen's express permission (not even, it was said, Louis XVI). Such exclusivity alienated the court nobility, which she did very willingly, since only the queen's "inner circle" (including the Princess de Lamballe, and Gabrielle de Polastron, duchesse de Polignac) were invited.

A house of intimacy and of pleasure, the building was designed to require as little interaction between guests and servants as possible. To that end, the table in the salles à manger was conceived to be mobile, mechanically lowered and raised through the floorboards so that the servants below could set places sight unseen. The tables were never built, but the delineation for the mechanical apparatus can still be seen from the foundation.

Within the queen's apartment, one discerns Marie Antoinette's incessant need for privacy: the decor of her boudoir displays an inventiveness unique to the age, featuring mirrored panels that, by the simple turning of a crank, can be raised or lowered to obscure the windows. Her bedroom, although simple, is also elegant in accord with her general style, provided with furniture from Jean Henri Riesener. The wallpaper was painted by Jean-Baptiste Pillement.

Derivative buildings

  • A concert hall in San Jose, California, which carries the name "The Petit Trianon," [4] is a copy.
  • Home of Sabet Pasal, Iranian pre-revolution investor, built in northern Tehran

See also


  1. ^ a b David A. Hanser (2006). Architecture of France. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 292–.  
  2. ^ Mme Campan (Jeanne-Louise-Henriette); Jeanne Louise Henriette (Genest) Campan (1887). The Private Life of Marie Antoinette: Queen of France and Navarre. Scribner. pp. 77–. 
  3. ^ James Alexander Arnott; John Wilson; Joseph Maginnisse (1913). The Petit Trianon: being a reproduction of plates from a work by James A. Arnott and John Wilson, architects, of Edinburgh. The Rotch traveling scholarship envois. Architectural Book Pub. Co. pp. 11–. 

Further reading

  • Arizzoli-Clémentel, Pierre. Views and Plans of the Petit Trianon. Paris: Alain de Gourcuff Éditeur, 1998. Print

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website
  • Panoramic view from the roof of the château in QuickTime VR
  • Ancient Places TV: HD Video of The Queen's Hamlet at the Petit Trianon
  • PDF from the manuscript R. Mique, Recueil des plans du Petit Trianon, 1786
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