Marie Antoinette at the Met

This month’s Architectural Digest has a fascinating piece about the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s newly renovated Wrightsman Galleries. The piece focuses on their recreation of an embroidered fabric – embroidery by Marie Antoinette herself – that once graced a suite of furniture by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené for use by the Queen at the Chateau de Saint-Cloud, a 17th century palace that Louis XVI purchased for Marie in 1784. The Chateau was burned, but amazingly, some of the furniture still exists, as does a sample of the original embroidery.

The Met owns a berger chair, a daybed and a fire screen. They contracted with Chelsea Textiles in London to recreate the original floral embroidered pattern as upholstery fabric.

One of their big decisions was whether to use a white ground fabric or an “aged” color to match better with the 200+ year old patina of the furniture. Ultimately, they decided to go with a fresh white, which will naturally age over time.

These scans don’t do the AD images justice, so head on over to the newstand if you want to see them in fine detail!

Photography for Architectural Digest by Billy Cunningham.

xoxo Linda