The Clock room
Salon de l’Empereur, Salon des Fêtes (Festivities), Salon des Concerts, then, up until the first world war, Salon de la Paix (Peace), this room was finally called the Salon de l’Horloge.
The fireplace and ceiling cove are the most striking decorative features. The fireplace hood was executed by Hubert Lavigne and Liénard: two seated children bear the imperial symbols, the globe and sceptre. On the pediment, two other children hold up a coat of arms decorated with oak leaves where the imperial arms used to be. In the central niche is a statue of France rby Pollet. It replaced in 1860 the original plaster statue of The Emperor by Lavigne. The fireplace bronzes were made, after Liénard’s plaster models, by Victor Paillard, who was also responsible for the famous clock from which the room takes its name.
The ceiling cove is richly ornamented. It was painted by Nolau and Rubé with gold-embellished arabesques against a checkered background. Eleven cartouches depict children symbolising The Seasons and the Arts, including Painting, over the main door leading to the Ambassadors’ Room and Bacchus, Autumn, facing the street. The ceiling used to depict a sky with hazy clouds which has since disappeared.
The sculptures of twelve children bearing either the cartouches in the corners or garlands around the ceiling cove, are the work of the Huber brothers, to whom we also owe the door carvings. The doors, as well as the panels of the three bays facing the Galerie de la Paix, were painted by Nolau and Rubé.
Above the doors, cartouches carved by Liénard and painted by Gosse depict The Four Continents.
The four chandeliers in the shape of chimera and groups of children are by Victor Paillard, the consoles beneath the mirrors by Jeanselme and Liénard.
The Salon de l’Horloge has witnessed very many events.
Because of its size the room is suitable not only for celebrations, but also for receiving delegations to international conferences such as, for example, the International Conference of Weights and Measures, the 1919 Peace Conference, the signing of the Briand-Kellogg Pact and the peace treaty with Italy.
The Salon de l’Horloge was also the venue for the meetings which preceded the birth of the European institutions. It was here that, on 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman gave the speech launching the plan for a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
- A tour of the Quai d’Orsay
- A tour of the Quai d'Orsay