Restoration of the Salon d’Orléans – Chantilly Porcelain Gallery in the Logis Wing
The Logis Wing was originally built in the 1870s and intended for the Count of Paris, the Duke d’Aumale’s nephew and heir to the French throne, and his wife. After 1889, it was converted into art galleries for the Duke d’Aumale’s growing collection.
Since 2020, these rooms are undergoing an important renovation program which includes the restoration of the paintings and their frames, creation of new wall hangings and trimmings to replicate the original fabrics from the Duke d’Aumale’s time, and improvements to the lighting. At the end of this major initiative, the Logis Galleries will once again be superb showcases for the Duke’s treasures.
The Orléans Room was named in honor of the Duke d’Aumale’s family whose portraits are displayed on the walls, including his father, Duke d’Orleans (future Louis-Philippe) Asking for Hospitality from the Monks of Petit Saint-Bernard by Horace Vernet, his mother, Queen Marie-Amélie by Charles-François Jalabert and his sister-in-law, Duchess of Nemours as Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, commissioned from Henri Decaisne for this room.
Also present are paintings from the Duke d’Aumale’s collection. Among them, Antonio Moro’s The Risen Christ between Saints Peter and Paul was originally acquired by the Prince Louis de Bourbon-Condé (1621-1686), who had a great admiration for Flemish and Dutch schools. Though he owned works by Rubens, Van Dyck and Teniers, the painting by Moro was considered one of the greatest masterpieces in the Prince’s collection and in fact, it was the most expensive painting he ever purchased! Fortunately for the Duke d’Aumale, he inherited it along with the Château de Chantilly from his Godfather, the last Prince de Condé.
When the Duke d’Aumale decided to convert the Logis into art galleries, he chose the Orléans Room as his Drawings Gallery. He enjoyed showing off his impressive collection and often organized legendary lunch parties when guests would dine in the Stag Gallery, then walk the short distance to the Orléans Room to admire the Duke’s drawings.
As can be expected, the Château de Chantilly houses the largest collection of Chantilly porcelain in the world which continues to grow thanks to new acquisitions and donations. The Duke d’Aumale had presented his porcelains in the Gem Gallery; when his drawing collection was moved to the Theater Library in the 1970s, the Orléans Room became the new Porcelain Gallery as we know it today.
The Chantilly Manufactory was founded in 1730 by Prince Louis-Henri de Bourbon-Condé (1692-1740). The ambitious Prince was Prime Minister to Louis XV but fell out of favor and was exiled to Chantilly. There, he channeled his energy into redecorating the Château, building the Great Stables and creating the porcelain manufactory which later inspired the Vincennes and Sèvres manufactories. Though the Chantilly manufactory ceased operating at the end of the century, it was highly appreciated by European aristocrats and merchants, and remains to this day one of the most beautiful examples of European porcelain productions.
The Orléans Room presents hundreds of historic pieces from the 18th century. Some bear the coat of arms of the Princes de Condé, others of the Orléans family. Most have the Chantilly manufactory’s characteristic mark of a hunting horn in blue or red. While the majority are tableware like cups, saucers, teapots, plates, coolers, bowls and platters – after all, the Princes de Condé entertained lavishly at Chantilly – there are also decorative animal figurines and utilitarian objects. Their décors represent different periods of the production and vary from the early Kakiemon style imitating Asian porcelain to colorful floral designs or a simple but elegant blue and white which were popular during the second half of the century.
Chantilly’s current exhibition La Fabrique de l’extravagance. Les porcelaines de Meissen et de Chantilly, on view until August 28, tells the fascinating story of the Chantilly and Meissen productions and how they dominated decorative arts during the 18th century. It is a must-see show!
The renovation program in the Orléans Room includes the restoration of the paintings, replacement of the wall hangings and the restoration of the chandelier. The Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly is delighted to sponsor this project and would like to thank all those who wish to participate in its efforts.
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Gallery of Prints and Drawings
The Château de Chantilly is home to the superb collection of prints, drawings and photographs assembled by Henri d’Orléans, Duke d’Aumale (1822 – 1897). Undoubtedly one of the greatest collectors of his time, he acquired more than 9,000 works on paper and 2,200 early photographs, whose outstanding quality and provenance reflect the Duke’s discerning taste.
Since 2017, this collection is presented on a rotating basis in a dedicated space within the historic castle. After contributing to the creation of this gallery, the Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly pledged ongoing support for exhibitions and publications as well as conservation work so that Chantilly’s masterpieces on paper can be shared with the general public.
Recent exhibitions funded by FODC include Rembrandt, Géricault, Eugène Lami, Clouet and Raphael. In 2021, Chantilly will present new exhibitions on Carmontelle, the School of Fontainebleau and Roger Fenton. To help us continue our support of the Gallery of Prints and Drawings, please make a gift or contact us.
We would also like to thank Découvert Fine Art for offering a special fundraising initiative in May 2021 for Chantilly’s Gallery of Prints and Drawings.