Workshop of Princess Marie d'Orléans

Workshop of Princess Marie d'Orléans

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Title: Workshop of Princess Marie d'Orléans.

Author : LAFAYE Prosper (1806 - 1883)

Creation date : 1842

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 55 - Width 87

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas commissioned by Louis-Philippe for the castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1842

Storage location: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais

Picture reference: 91DE584 / MV 6120

Workshop of Princess Marie d'Orléans.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

Marie d´Orléans (1813-1839) was the third of ten children of Louis-Philippe and Marie Amélie of Bourbon-Sicile. But her career was cut short: married at 24 to Duke Alexander of Wurtemberg, she died of consumption shortly after, leaving a son.

Image Analysis

An original interior

Louis-Philippe, from the Restoration, had maintained the tradition of patronage of the Orleans family, including a collection of paintings by contemporary masters including Horace Vernet, Delacroix or Géricault (from which he had purchased theHorse Hunter Officer and Wounded Cuirassier now in the Louvre). His children were also very active in the artistic field: the Duke of Orleans, heir to the throne, showed a daring taste in supporting both romantic painters and naturalist landscape painters, then discussed in official circles, and the sculptor Barye, in which he commissioned a sumptuous especially table (partly dismantled, several groups in Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery). Like many of his brothers and sisters, he was also an innovator in decorative arts, redesigning the rooms he occupied in the Tuileries Palace in the latest fashion. The "gothic salon" of Princess Marie, on the ground floor of the palace, near the apartment of the queen her mother, is a testimony to this here. The coffered ceiling evokes the Renaissance, like the furniture, which recalls Flanders or Holland in the 16th and 17th centuries. Several pieces of furniture or decor are in the late Gothic style: these are both originals and period copies. We did not hesitate, then, to supplement or modify old pieces to better adapt them to their modern function. The windows are lined with stained glass that filters the light, like the heavy curtains or crimson fabrics that line the room.


More than an exact reconstruction, this work is an evocation: the atmosphere thus created highlights the style of interior decoration popular at the time as well as the taste for Gothic as it manifested around 1830. Long disdained , the Gothic style had been put back in the spotlight by the romantics, becoming a source of inspiration in all fields, from literature to painting, including sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts. The neo-Gothic could also have political significance, in particular for the Legitimists, which is obviously not the case for this show. Marie d´Orléans is not entirely foreign to this aspect, however, in particular in her statues of medieval subjects. One of the most famous, the plaster of which occupies the center of the room, was indeed a Jeanne D'Arc, whose patriotic and religious resonances need not be emphasized.

  • Decorative Art
  • Orleans (of)
  • furniture
  • July Monarchy
  • Tuileries
  • Louis Philippe
  • Géricault (Théodore)
  • Delacroix (Eugene)


Jean-Pierre RIOUX and Jean-François SIRINELLI (under the supervision of) Cultural history of France , volume III “Lights and freedom: the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries” (volume edited by Antoine de BAEQUES and Françoise MELONIO) Paris, Seuil, 1998.Charlotte GERE The Period and its style.Interior decoration in the 19th century Paris, Flammarion, 1989 Exhibition catalog A golden age of the decorative arts (1815-1844) Grand Palais, Paris, RMN, 1991.

To cite this article

Barthélemy JOBERT and Pascal TORRÈS, "Workshop of Princess Marie d'Orléans"

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