The Belvedere Pavilion at Versailles was built for Marie-Antoinette, who made use of the octagonal building as a music room. Under her instructions, the pavilion was designed in the newly popular neoclassical style, with its landscaped garden reflecting the passion for English gardens at the time. The pavilion’s architectural lines show a classical balance of proportion, and its interior reflects a studied refinement with its sculpture and the richness of its paintings. Over the centuries, the interiors and exteriors of the Belvedere suffered from aging materials and lack of maintenance. In recent decades, the exterior was threatened by impaired drainage systems that allowed rain to stream along the façade and reach the lower parts of the building. Moss and lichen grew on the surfaces and some elements of the decorative balustrades were lost. The interior also showed cracks along the walls and on the floor.
The interior has been fully restored
In 2009, World Monuments Fund provided support to conserve the Belvedere and its garden through both the Robert W. Wilson Challenge to Conserve Our Heritage and Vinci. The project was completed in 2012 and resulted in improved structural stability, conserved interiors, and improved landscaping immediately around the building. The work encompassed cleaning the façade and conservation of the stone balustrade, sculpture, and entrance stairs. The interior has been fully restored and particular attention was given to the cleaning of paintings, the marble floor, and repairing bronze decorative features.
The Pavilion looks out to a lake and stands next to a rocky hill. Its design is reminiscent of the famous gardens at Tivoli. Returning the Belvedere and its landscape to their original state provides the visitor with a greater understanding of the taste of the era and of Marie-Antoinette’s life at the Petit Trianon.