Come and take place at the King’s table ! Thanks to the menu, discover delicacies served in a delicate dishes, dressage, and also the full organization that makes the royal dining room the heart of greatness and power.
This virtual exhibition was produced with the participation of thirteen royal residences from the Network of European Royal Residences:
Royal Palace of Caserta (Italy)
Royal Łazienki Museum (Poland)
The Royal Danish Collection (Danmark)
Royal Palace of Gödöllő (Hungary)
Prussian Palaces and Gardens of Berlin-Brandenburg (Germany)
Parques de Sintra-monte da Lua (Portugal)
National Palace of Mafra (Portugal)
Palace of Versailles (France)
Palace of Compiègne (France)
Royal Castle in Warsaw (Poland)
Coudenberg Palace (Belgium)
Museum of King Jan III's Palace at Wilanów (Poland)
Consorzio delle Residenze Reali Sabaude, Venaria Reale (Italy)
In this work, artist Jean-Baptiste Oudry uses items that evoke meals associated with the royal hunt: a wicker basket full of peaches, a melon of which a quarter has been cut out, a silver dish with carafes and glasses, a bunch of grapes and a pâté en croûte with a slice cut out. There is also a gilded silver cooler with a bottle.
The artist, Giacomo Francesco Cipper, who specialised in still life and genre scenes, was born in Austria on 15 July 1664, moving to Milan in 1696 where he lived and worked until his death. Cipper is considered to be one of the main upholders of the naturalist tradition, in the Neapolitan style of Caravaggio.
This sumptuous still life shows a rich composition laid out on a table covered with a Persian rug. It including a silver platter, a glass of white wine, some pomegranates, a knife with an onyx handle, a Delft faïence bowl containing peaches and a half-peeled lemon, a melon, a loaf of bread and an oyster.
The Royal Castle of Warsaw
This work is in the collection of still life paintings belonging to Poland’s last king, Stanislas Auguste. The artist, van Deynum, probably came from Antwerp in Flanders. He is known for having painted a dozen or so works originally attributed to Jan Davidsz de Heem, one of the most famous still life painters of his time.
There are two other versions of this painting falsely attributed to Jan Davidsz de Heem, whose work was often copied by van Deynum (Parke-Bernet Galleries in New York and a private collection). Whatever its origin, the interest of this work lies in the numerous depictions of fruit and glass bowls beloved of the Flemish masters.
The lower parts of the walls in the Hall of Diana at the Royal Palace of La Venaria contain ten hunting scenes painted in around 1658-1660 by Flemish artist Jan Miel. They depict the different stages in the complex ritual that had developed around the hunting of the hare, from the pursuit of the animal (on horseback or on foot) to its capture and killing. This canvas shows “The Assembly”, when the hunters meet for a banquet. Duke Charles-Emmanuel II of Savoy may be identified among those depicted.
Formerly a Royal Table Room, this room was chosen by Napoleon I as a dining room. He conserved the 18th century decoration, particularly the trompe l’oeil grisailles by Piat Joseph Sauvage evoking the pleasures of the table, but requested Jacob-Desmalter to make new furniture, sober and functional, whose layout could easily be changed, the room also being used for entertainment. It kept this dual function during the Second Empire, as shown by the set table, which dates from that period.
When King Frederick William of Prussia gave his uncle, Prince Henry, a big dinner and dessert service in 1791, he encouraged the introduction of a new style. The simplicity of the borders of the items in this service, decorated with draperies in relief and bouquets of wild flowers, contrasts with the rococo style of the previous decades.
Inspired by the famous Sèvres dinner service, presented to prince Gustav III by Louis XVI in 1784, the factory chose a green and gold border. This service was offered in gratitude to Prince Henry, who had just erected an impressive obelisk in the Rheinsberg gardens, in honour of his late brother, Augustus William, father of the new king.
This table belongs to the dining room furniture ordered by Ferdinand II from Barbosa and Costa in 1866 for La Peña palace. Designed exclusively in Portugal, the table demonstrates the search for functionality and innovation peculiar to the industrial era. It imitates the 17th century style, with animal heads sculpted on the feet, and was clearly destined for use in the country.
This porcelain dish, imported from Yongzheng’s Imperial China (Qing Dynasty), belonged to one of the dinner services ordered in around 1730 by King John V of Portugal, whose coat of arms it bears, inset in polychrome enamel. It is decorated with vegetal and geometrical patterns in blue, white and gold.
This French porcelain sugar bowl by Deroche bears the coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, used between 1816 and 1826 during the reign of John VI. Its particularly elegant decoration is based on the alternation of vegetable and geometrical patterns in gold against a burgundy background.
The dessert plates and other tableware made for Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Louise and King Frederick William III, who married Prince Frederick of the Netherlands in 1825, mainly show views of Potsdam and its environs. The young princess, far from home, could thus show her guests the beauty of the landscapes in which she had grown up.
A particularly elegant model, this oval sugar bowl features two sculpted eagles watching their young as it hatches. Designed in 1806 by Alexandre Brongniart, then director of the Sèvres Manufacture, it is part of the dessert service with garlands of flowers on a gold background delivered to Compiègne in 1809 for Emperor Napoleon I.
The shape of the piece, as well as the engraving of the lower part of the goblet, on the foot, the bud and the fleuron, are typical of the objects designed in the Lubaczów glass factory in the 1720s. The goblet is engraved on one side: two panels topped with crowns contain the coats of arms of Denhoff and his wife. The edge of the goblet is engraved with floral decoration; the foot and the cover are decorated with two branches – one of palm, the other of laurel – joined by a ribbon.
During the Renaissance, the Venetians developed their famous cristallo glass. This new aesthetic style was used in tableware: elegant, gracious shapes, filigree and millefiori, extremely fine glass... Venetian glass-making established itself as the incarnation of luxury: its shapes, its patterns and the technical prowess of its production were imitated all over Europe. Glass-blowers working in the Venetian style opened workshops in Antwerp and Liège in the second half of the 16th century and in Brussels from 1623.
The king is depicted clothed as in ancient times, wearing a crown of laurels. The queen has her hair carefully styled and is wearing strings of pearls. Horns of plenty full of fruit form panels surrounding the portraits. The Gdansk master craftsmen started making tableware bearing likenesses of famous people from the 1670s. This fashion helped to make King Jan III more popular.
They are decorated with heraldic symbols: coats of arms surrounded with badges of office indicating the status of Marshal at the Court of the Republic of Poland. This coloured, polished and gilded glassware, displayed at the Palace of Wilanów, comes from Huta Kryształowa, a big glassworks which produced chandeliers and crystal tableware in the 18th century.
It consists of 363 decorated pieces of various sizes weighing a total of 175 kg; each piece bears the coat of arms of the House of Savoy and the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. This service was part of the collection belonging to the Bruni-Tedeschi family, Piedmontese industrialists, before being bought by the Piedmont regional authority in 1999.
Catherine Pégard, President of the Palace of Versailles, President of the Network of European Royal Residences
Laurent Salomé, Director of the museum
Thierry Gausseron, General administrator
Élisabeth Caude, General curator, in charge of furniture and art object department
Géraldine Bidault, in charge of the photography library and the digitization of the collections, curator of the digital exhibition
Elena Alliaudi and Hélène Legrand, Network of European Royal Residences
Ariane de Lestrange, Head of communication
Paul Chaine, Head of digital service
Marie Delamaere, Thomas Garnier, Marie Zimberlin, Coordinators of the digital exhibition
With the participation of :
Reggia di Caserta
Royal Łazienki Museum
The Royal Danish Collection
Palais royal de Gödöllő
Prussian Palaces and Gardens of Berlin-Brandenburg
Parques de Sintra-monte da Lua
Palacio Nacional de Mafra
Palais de Compiègne
Château royal de Varsovie
Palais de Wilanów, Musée du Roi Jan III
Consorzio delle Residenze Reali Sabaude, Venaria Reale