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Monday, June 16, 2014

Napoleon III Apartments at the Louvre

In the Richelieu wing of the Louvre, you will find Escalier du Ministre (the Minister’s Staircase) that leads to the first floor containing Napoleon III apartments.

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Don’t be in a rush, walk slowly up the stairs, look around and up.

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The ceremonial staircase was built for the Minister of State to impress distinguished visitors attending parties and affairs of state.

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Napoleon III (Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte) hired architect Hector Martin Lefuel to complete the project begun by Louis Tullius Joachim Visconti. The project was to finish the Salle des États in the extended northern wing facing the Place du Palais-Royale.

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Construction began in 1854 and was completed in 1857.

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This was at the height of the 2nd Empire design period.

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Just when you think it cannot get any better then comes the apartments themselves.

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You first enter in through room 91 which is an Antechamber (Antichamber salle 91). It is next to the Introductory Gallery in room 91 (Galerie d’introduction salle 91). The carved wood paneling is completely stunning.

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The next space was so beautiful that it was as if fairies were dancing.

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It was part of the Petite Apartments (Petits Appartements).

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It features crimson walls, brilliant gilding and a lovely fireplace.

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The detailing is superb.

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The next petite apartment was a true favorite of mine. It appears the fairies were following me further creating a magical experience.

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The painted ceiling was a delicate and lovely work of art.

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It was a soft palette of springtime.

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The walls were covered in fabric. Here is a close up of the floral motif.

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Next, it was on to the Grand Salon in room 87 (salle 87). 


The furniture here is in the second empire style. This design was a mix of 17th and 18th century styles that featured rich fabrics and colors.

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The Grand Salon is the largest room. It could be transformed into a theatre to hold eleven rows of spectators all facing the stage in the theatre saloon.

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The room is decorated with imperial insignia and on the upper walls you can view caryatides which are columns in the shape of female figures.

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The chandeliers are impressive. The center crystal alone was larger than my fist.

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The ceiling features Charles-Raphaël Maréchal's painting of “The Reuniting of the Louvre and the Tuileries by Napoleon III”.

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The lavish stucco decorations are by Tranchant.

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The entire space was pure opulence.

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There are four side vault paintings which tell the history of the construction of the Louvre.

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You might just have to wear your sunglasses when viewing this space.

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Another favorite space of mine was the small dining room in room 84 (petite salle à manger).

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The painted dome was just a visual delight.

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The chandeliers and stucco work in this space were beyond ornate.

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I cannot even begin to imagine the hours it took to create this space.

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One could spend many days viewing the space and discover something new each and every time.

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The large dining room (grande salle à manger) was used only for banquets. Although the table is covered by a cloth it features detailed marquetry which is the art of applying decorative veneers to solid wood furniture.

dining room

At one end of the dining room is an ebony étagère (sideboard) with a type of gilding technique known as Boulle marquetry (after André-Charles Boulle). Other paintings in the room feature hunting scenes.

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Embossed crimson velvet was used for the the drapes and chair upholstery.

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The painted ceiling was done by Eugène Appert and features a luminous sky traversed by exotic birds. I was enamored by the gilded metal swags which held the chandeliers.

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Here is a close up which includes the 3 D cherubs.

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The only thing that got me to leave this wondrous space was the chance to see some of the Crown Jewels in a nearby gallery.

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The next post will feature these gems as well as the Apollo Gallery and a few other favorites.


Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Classy Clutter, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family,Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection,Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home, The Charm of Home,Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House

This is the 8th post in the 2014  Décor To Adore Summer Travel Series. Links to the other posts can be found in the sidebar under “Blog Archives”.


Patti said...

My, very very ornate. Were you on a private tour? There are no tourists in your photos. Mine dearly turn out like that.

Patti said...

Not dearly, rarely. Sorry!

Decor To Adore said...

Hi Patti, I was actually very, VERY patient in waiting to get my photos. It was Saturday afternoon and the Louvre was full. :)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my word, these pictures are incredible. What a great tour. I am loving it all.

ellen b. said...

So much detail to look at. You captured a lot of it nicely!

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

What great pictures and a wonderful and informative post. We actually stumbled into this area by chance on our recent visit and I was quite taken aback! We missed the crown jewels so I can't wait to see your next post!

Lorrie said...

The details in these rooms is amazing. I love the door hardware that you captured. Beautiful. Something to put on my list for the next time I get to the Louvre.

Louise said...

Beautiful, and I love how throughout this whole series you have looked up and all around and shared things that perhaps could be missed while hurrying from one major destination to another. You have pointed out the "little things" that are just as fabulous as the big things.

Christine said...

Just can't get enough!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it all!
Be still my heart.

Vel Criste said...

Dear Laura,

At last I'm able to comment!!!! I checked yesterday and I still couldn't I don't know if it's just from your end or mine. Anyway, I just want you to know I have been following all your posts on Paris - from the Louvre to this, I really enjoyed the simple way of how you explain things and the TIPS are just invaluable when we do finally go there!!!!! Love it all and I'm so glad you had such a marvelous time!!!!!! Thank you and keep 'em coming dear!

XO, Vel

Liz Hockamier said...

I'm speechless! What can you say? It is just breath taking!


Betty Young said...

Hi Laura,
Over the top again! I too LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your photos and writing. A dream come true for me to see France in a new way. Safe and beautiful....Thank you.
Betty @ My Cozy Corner

Princess of Eboli said...

This pictures are Gorgeous !!!!!!!