Not that many tourists make the trek from the over-the-top Palace of Versailles to the much smaller Petit Trianon, built as a retreat from the crowds that filled the main palace as soon as it was built.
I like the much-more-human scale of the Petit Trianon. So did Marie Antoinette. OK, I’m sure her critics were correct in accusing her of hosting raucous parties there, but I’m sure she also appreciated the details in her more quiet moments.
There’s a round salon with exquisite, soothing painted panels.
The salon has a patterned marble floor, still pristine.
A long gallery is a mostly-white version of the main palace’s Hall of Mirrors. It’s calming, not frenetic. I think it’s too bad the royals who succeeded the glory days of the Sun King did not use the peace and quiet of their retreats to think about how they could sustain the monarchy. In nearby Paris, daring thinkers were meeting in obscure coffeehouses, sowing the seeds of revolution.
Join me next time for more explorations in the art and history of Europe!