The original furniture disappeared from the palace of Fontainebleau during the French Revolution, so what we see now was acquired mainly during the nineteenth century, or from antique dealers in the twentieth.
According to the Château’s website, the interior of the Château as we see it today looks “more or less as Napoleon III and Eugenie left it in 1868, with the exception of Napoleon I’s inner apartment, which is shown as it would have been in the First Empire, and Marie Antoinette’s boudoir, which looks more or less as it would have in the 18th century.”
Large parts of the ceiling and wall decorations from earlier centuries have survived and have been carefully cleaned and restored.
The Château of Fontainebleau has several large and impressive tapestries on display, especially in the Grand Apartments of the Sovereigns.
It took years of patient and highly skilled labor to make tapestries like these, as I found out when I toured the Gobelin manufactory in Paris in the summer of 2013. A few weeks later I had the privilege of viewing the large collection of sixteenth-century Renaissance tapestries in the Richelieu Wing of the Louvre in Paris in the company of the Belgian art connoisseur Eddy Dijssel, whom I had met through the now-defunct website VirtualTourist.
As in other royal palaces, the ceremonial bedrooms of the King and Queen are important parts of the Royal Apartments.
In Fontainebleau, Napoléon continued this tradition while he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1814.
Anne of Austria (1601–1666) was actually a Spanish princess (not Austrian, despite the name) who for reasons of state was forced to marry to the French King Louis XIII when they were both fourteen years old. After several miscarriages (and years of neglect by her uninterested husband), she finally gave birth to a son, the future Louis XIV, in 1638.
My photos in this post are from 2014. I revised the text in 2021.
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