plate 2; black and white

Second Room of the Apartments at Versailles, 1694-1698

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Versailles was known as a gambling den ("ce tripot"), and fortunes were won and lost in an evening of gaming in the Appartements. While Louis XIV was said to prefer billiards, cards were most popular among the courtiers, with games like Reversi and 21, along with roulette, which was forbidden by the Pope and banned in the city of Paris.

By the late 1690s, the king spent less and less time at the evening entertainments, and Antoine Trouvain's engravings, not surprisingly, portray the younger generation of the court at play. Sitting at this card table with "Monseigneur," the Grand Dauphin or heir to the throne, are two of Versailles most fashionable ladies, Louise-Françoise, "Madame la Duchesse" (no. 4) and Marie Anne de Conti, "Madame la Princesse" (no. 2), both of whom were the illegitimate daughters of the king, by different mistresses, and thus half-sisters of the Dauphin. Their tenuous birth was rectified by the prestigious marriages arranged for them with two princes of blood.

Second Room of the Apartments at Versailles
Artist Life
1656 - 1708
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
"The Sun King," Nancy Mitford, 1966
Curator Approved

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plate 2; black and white