I could live here. I could be happy in the Petit Trianon. I could get used to its cozy quarters, its pasture views, the grazing cows, and the belvedere. I would, however, have to do away with the lurking tourists leaning against my iron gate and meandering through my French Pavillion… Originally built for Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour, the château is a departure from the Rococo style of the late 18th century with its neoclassical architectural elements and its exquisitely detailed facades. It is no wonder that the fanciful Marie Antoinette took it on as her own secluded playhouse and sanctuary, her own personal castle wherein her explicit need for privacy reigned supreme. The 19-year-old queen even ordered the dining table to be lowered and raised through the floorboards so that she would not have to see the servants. Where did a 19-year-old get such ideas?
The decor is chintzy with its predominant florals and porcelain, but the grounds are sloping splendors with tall grasses, streams, and numerous outbuildings dotting dirt pathways. The temple of love is one of the closest structures to the house and can be seen directly outside of the queen’s bedroom window. All hillocks lead to Hameau, Marie Antoinette’s infamous ‘peasant village,’ where she played dress-up amongst thatched cottages and Normandy farmhouses. I especially love the long, straight road leading to the front facade of the Petit Trianon. It is an idyllic driveway lined with immaculately maintained trees in perfect symmetry. I suppose I could grow accustomed to making a humble entrance to my little place on the grounds of Versailles via the front drive… c’est bon.
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