Towards the end of his life, Louis XV spent his time between three homes.
|Anonymous, View from the chateau de Compiegne. Second quarter 19th century, intaglio (in colored pencil), laid paper (stuck open), cardboard. Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée, Museum of France.|
The first was the chateau Compiègne which Louis XV frequented more than even Louis XIV! Situated near a large forest, this was an ideal place to be for endless hunting. Originally built in the 14th century, it was restored and modified several times through the years. You can visit Compiègne today; it was restored after the revolution and altered with added rooms and updated gardens.
|Pierre Denis Martin. Vue du chateau de la Muette. First quarter 18th century, oil painting , canvas. National Museum of the castles of Versailles and Trianon, Museum of France.|
The next residence he loved was Château de la Muette. It was built by Charles IX who was (can you guess?) infatuated with hunting, and devoted a good portion of time to publishing a book on the sport. The Regent Duc d'Orleans made considerable improvements on the building when Louis XV was a child. When Louis XV was older he also put money into the castle updating it so it could better be inhabited by the court and himself.
|Charles Leopold van Grevenbroeck, Arrival of King Louis XV at La Muette Castle in 1738. Painting. Musée Carnavalet.|
Years later, when her family was forced to move to the Tuileries from Versailles, Marie Antoinette spent a night at this castle, while the other was prepared. Another fun fact about the La Muette Castle, is that the first hot air balloon ascent occurred there!
|Pierre Aveline, Nicolas Poilly, View of the Château de Marly from the entrance front. circa 1720, etching and watercolor. Collection of the Museum of Ile-de-France.|
Finally Château de Marly, the smaller country home of the royal court was where Louis XIV would often reside when building Versailles.
|Jacques Rigaud, Entrance to the castle of Marly. Second half 18th century, etching , engraving, paper, ink, watercolor, gouache. Louveciennes, Museum of France.|
He had trees planted and water fountains installed in the gardens to his taste. When in residence, all visitors wore formal court dress and later, Louis XV had created a style slightly different from that worn at Versailles known as the habit de cour de Marly.
|Attributed to Louis Nicolas van Blarenberghe, Flight of a balloon in Marly. Fourth quarter 18th century, gouache, vellum. Louveciennes, Museum of France.|
The home was infamous for the large parties thrown there, and very late nights of games. (a perfect escape!)