THE RESIDENCES of Mme de Pompadour




The Marly-le-Roi Castle (map)

When Versailles is transformed to become the main residence for the King and his court, Louis XIV asks Jules-Hardouin Mansart to direct the site of Marly.
The works began in 1679 and in 1686 they were well advanced to allow the King to live there; Louis XIV keeps on embellishing the park (until his death) with the Riviera as well as large falls in 1697-98 and the creation of the big horse trough from 1698.

The death of the King is the end of the golden age of Marly.
The maintenance of the park is too expensive, so it is completely modified during the Regency, and subsequently abandoned during the Revolution to be sold in 1799 to the manufacturer Saignel. He destroyed the castle to sell the building material when ruined in 1806.

Madame de Pompadour goes to Marly for the first time in January 15, 1746. Louis XV gives her a small apartment at the northeast corner of the attic of the Royal Pavillion.
Madame de Pompadour has to use the furniture, which is already in the castle. She only buys new furniture for her cloakroom and her toilette.

The Marly castle doesn’t have the typical taste of the Marchioness has she is here as guest of the King who chooses the furniture and the decorations.


The Marly machine

During the 1681 Arnold de Ville, a manufacturer, goes to the court to present a project, an old desire of Louis XIV: to bring water to Versailles.

He suggests to build a machine, 7 km far from the castle, to allow the water to goes up from the Seine to the top of a hill 160 metres high, plus an aqueduct.
The cost of the project is 9 millions of Livres. The King is enthusiast and the works will last for four years, and involve 18.000 men.


The horses of Marly

Guillaume Coustou (1745), height: 355 cm., Paris the Louvre Museum.

In 1740, Louis XV orders two groups to decorate the horse trough, to Guillaume Coustou.

In 1794 the horses are taken to the entrance of the Champs-Elys, along the side of Place de la Concorde.
At present day there are copies as well as at Marly. The original horses can be seen at the Louvre, since 1933.