A Study in the Panelling of Anne of Austria's Bedroom

Study based on the panelling of Anne of Austria’s chamber - Château de Fontainebleau - © RMN Grand Palais

Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863)
Watercolour on Paper
H. 22.5 cm;L. 26 cm
Fontainebleau, Musée National du Château, F-2018.15

This watercolour by Eugène Delacroix reproduces several details from a pilaster painted by Charles Errard between 1655 and 1660 in the bedroom of Anne of Austria located in the Queen Mother’s Apartment on the castle’s first floor. It shows the female figure with her breast unveiled wearing a crown of laurel and reclining on a pedestal decorated with Acanthus scrolls at the end. There are also ribbon bows at the bottom of the panel. The lower part is made of partitions with the figure of a man holding garlands, a seated female and part of a hand holding a garland. This study should be compared with two other drawings made by Delacroix in Anne of Austria's apartment –

one with a painted piece of the panelling and the other reproducing part of the room's ceiling (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).

These watercolours dated as 1841 or 1846 might have been used by Delacroix in his plans to design the library in the Luxembourg Palace (1841-1846), the library in the Palais-Bourbon (1838-1847) or for the ceiling of the Salon de la Paix in Paris’ Hôtel de Ville (1852-1854). The Château de Fontainebleau’s décors have therefore been an important source of artistic inspiration throughout Delacroix's career; from the King's Salon at the Palais-Bourbon to the Hôtel de Ville, both in the arrangement of the compositions and in the relationship between the object and choice of figures.

2018-2019, Château de Fontainebleau, Louis-Philippe à Fontainebleau. The King and History.

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