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Queen of Versailles

16th December 2013
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The Versailles of Maria Leszczyńska

Ongoing until January 5

Royal Castle in Warsaw


Maria Leszczyńska was a daughter of the exiled Polish King Stanisław Leszczyński. At the age of 22 she married 15-year-old Louis XV, thus becoming the queen consort of France. Ms Leszczyńska was chosen from 99 European princesses that were deemed eligible to marry the young king, and the couple went on to have 10 children. The queen was a grandmother to three French kings. 

Maria Leszczyńska portrait by Jean-Marc Nattier
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The exhibition at the Warsaw Royal Castle showcases her life in Versailles, where she lived during her tenure. The exhibition shows the everyday life of Ms Leszczyńska, her marriage, maternity, friends and family, as well as her passion for music and painting.

The display is composed of carefully selected family portraits, original elements of decorations of the queen’s apartment, which include a painting series titled “Five Senses” by Jean-Baptiste Oudry. Other works of art include pictures which were painted with her participation, or commissioned by her, such as the splendid cabinet by the renowned ébéniste Robert-Antoine Gaudreaus, ordered for one of her drawing rooms.

Most of the exhibits come directly from Versailles, others were provided by various French and Polish cultural institutions.

Works from such artists as Jean-Baptiste Vanloo, Hyacinthe Rigaud, Alexander Roslin, Pierre Gobert, Alexis-Simon Belle, François-Hubert Drouais and Joseph-Marie Vien are on display.

Jacek Ciesnowski

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