The Making of Extravagance. Porcelain from Meissen and Chantilly
From September 5, 2020 to August 29, 2021, Chantilly hosted a major exhibition in the Château’s Grands Appartements including its delightful Grande Singerie (Monkey Room). The princely porcelain of Meissen and Chantilly, which influenced the decorative arts during the Age of Enlightenment, was given a place of honor in a spectacular design created by Peter Marino.
It is the first time a large-scale exhibition was dedicated to the study of Meissen and Chantilly porcelain. For the occasion, exceptional loans from the Porzellansammlung in Dresden as well as private and public collections in the United States and Europe were brought together. A considerable number of these artworks had never been presented in France or outside of Germany.
The Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly was a major sponsor of this incredible exhibition through proceeds from its Gala Dinner held on September 24, 2019 and through generous support from a number of donors.
The Great Stables
The majestic Great Stables are an architectural masterpiece and was conceived as a “palace for horses.” Designed by Jean Aubert in the eighteenth century and commissioned by Louis-Henri, Duke of Bourbon, the edifice is home to the Museum of the Horse and Chantilly’s equestrian troupe which holds its performances under the magnificent central dome. Since summer 2018, a large scale project to renovate the roof has been underway starting with the stable’s East Wing. The carpenters restored the damaged rafters while the stone masons repaired the chimneys.
The Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly is pleased to have contributed to this important restoration through proceeds from its Gala Dinner held in the Great Stables on September 7, 2018.
Exhibition of La Joconde Nue/The Nude Mona Lisa
This exhibition at Chantilly in summer 2019 explored the mystique and phenomenon surrounding the mystery of the drawing The Nude Mona Lisa and the real possibility that it may have been conceived and partially drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. At the time the Duke d’Aumale purchased The Nude Mona Lisa in 1862, he believed it to be an original work by Leonardo. Experts later determined the work to be a copy from the master’s workshop. The exhibition commemorated the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death and brought together several works that are similar to Chantilly’s drawing so that visitors can see them exhibited together for the first time and see the development of this particular genre of art.
Sometimes referred to as the “nude double” of the famous Mona Lisa in the Louvre, The Nude Mona Lisa’s mysterious subject has appeared in many renderings by artists from the Renaissance era such as François Clouet’s A Lady in Her Bath (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), Joos Van Cleve’s Monna Vanna Nuda (National Gallery in Prague), and Raphael’s La Fornarina (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome). Today, there are about twenty versions located in museums around the world representing the image of a seated nude female figure that may be directly inspired by Chantilly’s sketch.
The Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly is excited to have contributed to this fascinating show which shed light on one of the most revered artists in the world.
Restoration of the Duke and Duchess d’Aumale’s Private Suites
The Duke and Duchess d’Aumale’s private suites are located in the oldest part of the Château de Chantilly, which dates from the Renaissance era. These historic rooms were entirely designed and furnished for the newly married couple by the painter Eugène Lami in 1845-1846. They are an authentic example of French decorative arts from King Louis-Philippe’s reign (July Monarchy) and the only surviving ensemble in France today.
The Duchess’ elegant apartments include her bedchamber and adjoining bath, Salon de Guise, and Salon Violet; the Duke’s simpler but refined suite comprises a bedroom, Salon de Condé, and dining room. On view are exquisite pieces of portraiture, furniture, paneling, fine textiles, and objets d’art. Together, this ensemble provides a rich and deeply personal insight into the lifestyle of a remarkable princely family in French history.
These galleries have remained unchanged for the most part since the death of the Duke d’Aumale in 1897 and have been open to the public since 1993. A complete renovation was launched in 2016-2018 and included the interior decoration (ceiling, paneling, flooring) as well as the furnishings (textiles, objects in gilded wood and bronze, furniture). Since then, visitors to Chantilly have once again been able to discover or re-discover the splendor and beauty of the Duke and Duchess d’Aumale’s private suites.
The Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly is thrilled to have participated in making possible this major initiative through proceeds from its inaugural gala held on September 12, 2017.