On the left, before entering the drawing rooms, you cross through the Antichambre des Huissiers, which has a remarkable chimneypiece decorated with a mirror. At the top of the mirror’s frame are the figures of two children lifting a plaque. They are seated on a plinth arched in the centre, decorated by a fleuron and two foliated scrolls.
Opposite the chimneypiece is another mirror whose frame, sculpted by Liénard, is crowned by a trophy formed of the symbols of Astronomy, Architecture, Painting, Agriculture and Commerce, interlaced by olive and laurel branches. The trophy rests on a plinth decorated with a console forming the keystone, two cascades of fruit and topped off with two flowered curves.
Originally, Liénard intended the decoration we find today on this second mirror for the one on the mantelpiece opposite. The two mirrors’ paintwork was in gold and white. During restoration in about 1950 it was decided, very probably for lack of funds, to repaint everything in white.
On the mantelpiece, a clock dating from 1840 represents The Four Ages of Life. It is flanked by two candlesticks whose decoration symbolizes The Four Elements.
At the far end of the room there is a tapestry from the Artemis series, entitled The Chariot Drawn by Lions, woven at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth centuries in the Faubourg Saint-Michel workshops under the direction of François de La Planche. It is based on a manuscript, decorated by Nicolas Houël in 1562, recounting the story of Queen Artemis allegorizing that of Catherine de’ Medici. The cartoons are by Lerambert in the style of Antoine Caron. This tapestry is mentioned in the Inventory of Crown Property from the time of Louis XIV.
- A tour of the Quai d’Orsay
- A tour of the Quai d'Orsay