We use cookies to make sure our website better meets your expectations.
You can adjust your web browser's settings to stop accepting cookies. For further information, read our cookie policy.
IN Warsaw
Exchange Rates
Warsaw Stock Exchange - Indices
The Warsaw Voice » Culture » August 29, 2013
You have to be logged in to use the ReadSpeaker utility and listen to a text. It's free-of-charge. Just log in to the site or register if you are not registered user yet.
Married to a French King
August 29, 2013   
Article's tools:

The extraordinary story of a Polish princess who became the grandmother of three kings of France is told in an exhibition that opens at Warsaw’s Royal Castle in September.

Entitled Maria Leszczyńska’s Versailles. Royal Court Art in 18th-Century France, the new exhibition recounts the life of Maria Leszczyńska. She was the daughter of Stanisław I Leszczyński, an elective king of Poland who lived in exile after he had lost his throne and power.

Maria’s story sounded almost like a fairy tale when she was chosen from among 99 princesses of the blood to marry Louis XV and become the queen consort of France. The great-grandson of Louis XIV, Louis XV was a frail boy at the age of 15 and being the only male descendant of the house of Bourbon, he made the dynasty’s future uncertain. In order to make sure the Bourbons would remain heirs to the French throne, the family needed to find the young prince a wife who was healthy and capable of having children. They chose Maria, Louis’s senior by seven years, and the wedding took place in Fontainebleau Sept. 5, 1725. During the first 12 years of their marriage, Maria gave Louis XV and France eight daughters, including twins, and two sons. The Bourbon future was now safe.

In the early years, Louis XV was a loving and faithful husband, but in time he turned his back on his wife and had numerous mistresses, the most famous being Madame de Pompadour. Pushed aside, Maria dedicated herself to her family and only socialized with her closest friends. She became religious with only two hobbies: music and painting.

Recounting the remarkable story of the Polish princess, the exhibition at the Royal Castle aims to showcase the refined art of the French court during Louis XV’s reign. Several topics are explored in greater detail, including daily routines and customs at the court, paintings and furnishings which adorned Maria’s chambers, her circle of close friends and her love of painting. Visitors to the exhibition will see superb portraits and paintings such as the Five Senses series by Jean-Baptiste Oudry, pictures which the queen designed and helped paint (Chinese Study) and sophisticated handicraft items, including a magnificent chest of drawers that Maria ordered for one of her drawing rooms from famous cabinet maker Robert-Antoine Gaudreaus.

In total, the exhibition comprises more than 100 items, almost all of which come from private and public collections in France. It has been organized jointly by Warsaw’s Royal Castle and the Palace of Versailles.

Maria Leszczyńska’s Versailles. Royal Court Art in 18th-Century France Royal Castle in Warsaw; 4 Zamkowy Sq.; Sept. 20-Jan. 5
© The Warsaw Voice 2010-2018
E-mail Marketing Powered by SARE