A must-see

article | Reading time10 min

The Biencourt salon

The Biencourt salon

A "Downton Abbey" atmosphere at the château d'Azay-le-Rideau! Enter the luxurious, intimate and comfortable atmosphere of the most beautiful aristocratic residences of the 19th century.

Let's discover the setting

A neo-Renaissance decor

The salon, like the other rooms on the first floor of the château, presents a reconstruction of the living and reception rooms of the 19th century.

At the time, these rooms were owned by the Marquis de Biencourt, a great art collector, and perfectly illustrate the taste and art of living of their time.

The salon has partially preserved its neo-Renaissance interior decor, designed around an imposing fireplace, decorated with wainscoting, covered with leather wallpaper and covered with a joist ceiling   painted.

The Biencourt salon
The Biencourt Room

Léonard de Serres - Centre des monuments nationaux

An ambitious restoration of the decor

An exceptional partnership with the Mobilier national

The restitution of the first floor apartments according to the state of occupation of the Marquis de Biencourt was done within the framework of an exceptional partnership with the Mobilier National between 2015 and 2017.

It aims to recreate the special atmosphere of this luxurious and comfortable salon and to evoke the living environment and taste of this family in the second half of the 19th century.

The furniture present in the château in the second half of the 19th century is known from the inventory after the death of Armand-François-Marie de Biencourt (1854) and from the descriptive inventory of the furniture (1898). Several photographs and sales documents also testify to the layout of the château at that time. The curtains and mantelpieces, which are particularly well documented, have been faithfully restored.

To know more about the National Furniture

The Biencourt salon before restoration
The Salon Biencourt before restoration

Philippe Berthé - Centre des monuments nationaux

Who are the Biencourts?

The family of Biencourt had an extraordinary collection of historical portraits rich of more than 300 works dating from the Renaissance, the 17th and the 18th century.

Admired since the middle of the 19th century, this collection was a real history lesson. About fifty pieces are now kept at the Condé Museum at the Château de Chantilly in the Oise region.

Since it is impossible to bring the entire collection back to Azay-le-Rideau on a permanent basis, acquisitions and deposits of similar works allow us to rediscover the spirit of the collection. They are presented on either side of the fireplace.

Portraits from the Biencourt salon
Portraits from the Biencourt salon

Léonard de Serres - CMN

An impressive collection of portraits

Let's continue the visit

The fireplace of the salon

Built in 1856 by Edmond Lechevallier-Chevignard in the Neo-Renaissance style, the fireplace in the salon illustrates the work undertaken by Armand-François-Marie de Biencourt and then by his son Armand, to give the château a stylistic unity .

The mantel has a sculpted decoration of cut-out leather motifs. In the center appears the symbol of Francois I In the center appears the symbol of François I, the Salamander, which is also found in the decoration of the castle. In the 19th century the mantel was painted, it has since lost its colors.

The fireplace in the Biencourt salon
The fireplace in the Salon Biencourt

Léonard de Serres - Centre des monuments nationaux

A marquis pioneer of tourism

Thanks to the considerable fortune of his wife Anne-Elie-Marie-Aurélie de Montmorency, known as Aurélie de Montmorency, Armand-Marie-Antoine de Biencourt made the château d'Azay-le-Rideau a place much appreciated for its architecture and gardens, as well as for its collections.

He opened his castle, a true private museum, to visitors in the mid-19th century.

Decorations for the Biencourt salon
Decorations for the Biencourt salon

Léonard de Serres - Centre des monuments nationaux


Refurbishment of the Salon Biencourt at the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau in 2015

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